The first time I had chi-mek, a deliciously sinful combination of “chicken” and “mekju” (beer in Korean), it was enough to make me wish this awesome combo wasn’t just exclusive to dining in Korea! Nothing, I mean nothing, beats a Korean fried chicken – all golden crispy deliciousness, with an added spiciness thrown in for extra kick. When you wash it down with cold alcohol, fooooh heaven is a place on earth. I much prefer having chicken and soju (Korean rice liquer) though – beer makes me full and take up precious tummy space which could have downed a few more spicy fried chickens :D
While back in Seoul this time, I dragged Jeff to check out this fried chicken place HANCHU (한추) in Garosu-gil, touted as THE BEST PLACE EVER for fried chicken and stuffed peppers on a food blog. THE BEST? Hot damn that’s a pretty big promise to put out there in a land full of heavenly fried chickens.
Jeff, Sophia and I (mostly me, followed by Jeff hehe) ended up polishing the stuffed peppers, spicy fried chicken (pic at top of the post), fried chicken and sundobu chigae a.k.a. spicy tofu stew.
The verdict? Spicy fried chicken was the bomb! It was fried to golden perfection – not over fried or greasy. In fact, it actually looked like it was baked or air-fried (or one of those fancy new-age frying thingamajig). We asked the owner if he baked the chicken and he was like “Err no, its fried, dude”. My bad whoops. Anyhoo, the sweet and spicy sauce which coated each nugget of heavenly chicken bites was thick and flavourful without being overpowering. The sesame seeds tossed over each succulent bite provided a nice crunchy texture. I much prefer the spicy chicken over the normal fried chicken which was good, but lacked that extra taste-factor. What’s unique about the fried chicken here is that chopped green peppers are mixed in when frying the chicken, so that you get a nice zing-yin to the chicken’s yang.
The stuffed peppers were pretty good, with a succulent meat filling beneath the layer of crunchy pepper and golden batter. We ended up dipping the peppers in the spicy chicken’s sauce (instead of the other soy sauce they gave us), because delicious sauces are meant to be spread over errthang :)
Amidst all the deep fried goodness, the sundobu chigae was a major letdown. The fiery stew looked promisingly spicy, but was utterly tasteless. Credit must be given to the tofu though, which was extremely fresh and wobbly and yea..the only saving grace in the dish. That said, we pretty much had the entire dish simply because who can say no to tofu, eggs and enoki all together!
We ended up paying ~15,000 KRW on average for each dish. Portions are hearty here, and I waddled home with fried chicken twins… It’s a great chicken place (not too sure if it’s THE BEST, still need to investigate other chicken offerings across Seoul), but definitely a joint I would go back to when I’m craving Korean fried chicken while shopping along Garosu-gil…or after a night out as they open till 3am :)
Wherefore art thou?
HanChu 한추 (한잔의 추억)