South Korea’s KFC
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
This type of fried chicken is very crunchy, making it like eating potato chips—and it sometimes has a garlic taste.
While North America has Kentucky Fried Chicken, South Korea has their own take on fried chicken. Korean fried chicken is being offered in a lot of places in the Lower Mainland these days. It is the next best thing from South Korea after Korean BBQ—which involves the restaurant giving you the meat and you grill it yourself on the table!
This type of fried chicken is very crunchy, making it like eating potato chips—and it sometimes has a garlic taste. Also, you can make the fried chicken more flavourful by putting herbs on top of it, dusting it with cheese, or marinating it in a variety of different sauces including hot sauce. Similar to bubble tea, South Korea has a lot of chicken chains in the country and international locations around the world. The biggest chicken chain in the country is bb.q Chicken, which recently opened two locations in the Lower Mainland; there is one near Michael’s Craft Store in Coquitlam and another one next door to the bakery in the H Mart in Port Coquitlam.
Before the pandemic began, the Coquitlam location was like a restaurant and the H Mart location had a patio dining area outside. The restaurant bb.q Chicken is as big as KFC and had product placement in a lot of Korean shows, including Netflix shows The King and Crash Landing on You. Even the greatest K-Pop group of all time, BTS, are spokespeople for the chicken chain in addition to being spokespeople for Samsung.
In the case of the H Mart location, you order the chicken in advance and can shop around the grocery store until your food is ready to pick up. Their fried chicken is made with the highest quality chicken and with standards to offer the best product possible. It is made with a whole chicken cut into pieces, dipped in batter, and fried until golden and crunchy. After that, they either marinate the chicken or put toppings on it, and then they put the fried chicken in a cardboard box with vents.
Their fried chicken is available in half chicken and whole chicken sizes, where the latter option costs around $27. The half chicken is reasonably priced at half of $12. If you are new to Korean fried chicken, you could get the half and half box which consists of original chicken and their secret sauce chicken—which is made with a combination of ingredients including Korean chili sauce, onion, and garlic. The secret sauce chicken tasted like honey garlic as well as sweet and sour, though they also have honey garlic as well.
I thought that the chicken was all boneless, but some pieces have bones in them and some of them just have skin and bones. The chicken is moist and has an authentic fried chicken taste. Some of the other flavours offered include soy garlic, cheeseling, and Galbi Q. The Galbi Q chicken is marinated with Korean BBQ sauce and sprinkled with green onion—it tastes like BBQ beef and is smoky and sweet.
While you can get similar fried chicken in various Korean restaurants in the area, bb.q Chicken definitely offers the authentic Korean fried chicken experience.