Sammy Chon's KTown BBQ: Korean Fried Chicken in Philadelphia
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Whenever a restaurant adds or removes Korean fried chicken to its menu, the food community seems to go bananas. As an alternative to trying to keep track of who has it and when, just go to Sammy Chon's K-Town BBQ. It's a mini, regional chain with locations in Cherry Hill, Cinnaminson and Philadelphia's Chinatown, as well asfranchise opportunities in case you're ready for a new career.
As is tradition in Korean restaurants, first you get a complimentary assortment of banchan, or small plates of kimchi, pickled vegetables and other side dishes. You can pick on it throughout the meal but are apparently not supposed to physically combine it with anything else you eat.
We went straight for the 10-piece selection of fried chicken wings ($10.99). You can split the order between flavors - we got five each of soy garlic and honey sesame. They definitely had some of the crispiest, most flavorful skin we've had on wings and plenty of meat inside too. I liked the honey sesame the best, as did Bridges, Burgers & Beer in his review. We are not Korean food connoisseurs so we can't compare Sammy Chon's to other places, but from our perspective it's worth visiting to try these wings.
We also tried the steamed pork and chive dumplings, which were pretty standard, and Sammy Chon's signature "Koagie" sandwich. It's essentially a mash up of a Philly hoagie and Korean flavors. The Koagie includes beef bulgogi, chicken, spicy pork or fish, Korean sesame slaw and kimchi on a sesame seed roll. Bradd had no complaints but wouldn't go out of his way to get it. It's good, but not as good as the bulgoki steak sandwich from the Koja Truck.
After your meal, everyone gets a little container of yogurt drink. It's sort of like milk, but not milk, and not as thick as yogurt but kinda tastes like it... whatever, just drink it, it's yummy.
Next time you're in the mood for something different, and in between fast-casual and the commitment of a more elaborate restaurant experience, consider Sammy Chon's. And let us know what else is good there because we'll be back again, at least for some wings.
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