Friday, 29 May 2015

KyoChon 1991 @ Pavilion

Since opening its first store in 1991, KyoChon has been voted Best Fried Chicken by South Koreans for 13 consecutive years and many accolades later, this brand of fried chicken finally arrived at our shores in 2013 with its first outlet in One Utama Shopping Centre.  With numerous outlets in USA, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, this fried chicken has certainly taken the world by storm.

Since the opening of its third branch early this year (closer to home), which is touted as the biggest outlet among all its branches worldwide, there was no reason not to pay KyoChon 1991 @ Pavilion a visit to try their Korean Fried a friend of mine insisted that I try! :-D

KyoChon 1991 has 3 types of fried chicken to offer....the original soy series, red series or honey series.  The chicken pieces are cooked in a double-frying method which renders it super crispy and not greasy.  The fried chicken pieces are then tossed in a glaze or sauce (just like how they would do buffalo wings, I guess).

First of all, let's get a couple of facts (or claims) out of the way...which they so proudly display on their (paper) table mat.

Fact 1 - They don't serve fast food fried chicken but freshly fried to order chicken, so be prepared to wait for at least 15 minutes.
Fact 2 - Their chickens are free of antibiotics and growth hormones, and they're chilled, not frozen, for a fresher taste.
Fact 3 - They don't use MSG, preservatives or artificial colouring in any of their sauces or seasonings.
Fact 4 - They use canola oil for frying which is lower in cholesterol and a healthier option.
Fact 5 - Their double-frying technique ensures less grease and more taste.

This was Set A (for 1 pax) @ RM24.90 from their set meals menu.  You get 8 Wingettes & Drumettes (a choice of original or red or both) with steamed rice, salad, soup and drink (a choice of yuza or plum tea).  I obviously went for both flavours.

This is the original soy flavour (4 pcs) which I separated immediately so that the flavours don't mingle with one another.  The batter is crispy and the natural garlic soy glaze is quite subtle.  So, those wanting a punchier flavour and more savouriness in their chicken would surely welcome a bit more saltiness.  But I definitely approve the clean and subtle taste.  The chicken remained remarkably moist and tender while the outside coating was crispy.  You can taste the freshness of the oil used to fry the chicken.

The balance 4 pieces of chicken was from the red series....this is the fiery one!  They were a tad like western buffalo wings where it's fried and tossed in some 'kick ass' hot sauce.  I found the batter for this one to be less crispy, which is understandably so, coz the wings have been drowned in a sweet and spicy sauce made from fresh red peppers.  Those who like a bit of spice in their lives *wink wink* and a more punchy in-your-face kind of flavour would definitely prefer this one. 

Amidst many blogs mentioning that it's super hot, I had doubts initially about trying thinking it would be fiery blow-the-roof-off-my-mouth hot...and it was not!  It was still spicy but not hot until you have to down 2 to 3 glasses of water kind-of-hot.  The first few bites will make you feel like it's burning your tongue but persevere with a few more bites and the intensity will lessen and you'll be alright after that.  I actually downed two pieces without even having to take a sip of my drink.  This is more in the wheelhouse of those who are used to (or likes) spicy food but some may find them 'too hot to handle'!

Since this was a set meal, it came with steamed rice which you can upgrade to Garlic Fried Rice for an additional RM2...and, of course, I did.  The garlic rice was somewhat salty with lots of fragrance from the fried garlic bits...definitely worth to upgrade!  Or add on an additional fried egg for an extra RM1.
Even though it's just salad, they don't give you some crappy "sudah layu" (wilted) salad leaves...this one was fresh and crisp with a reddish dressing that tasted like plums or berries.  It was tangy and refreshing...and (I think) sorely needed when you're having an all meat meal. 
Even the complimentary soup was a cut above the rest (to me).  It had a very clear and subtle flavour of a well strained stock...nothing like those cheapskate soups we get in a lot of places.  The very thinly sliced spring onions added further finesse to the simple soup.
For drinks, you get a choice of yuza or plum tea and I chose the Natural Sparkling Yuza Fruit Tea (which on its own costs RM6.90).  It tasted like a cross between a lemon and an orange (and slightly fizzy) to me.  Very refreshing we do need a little bit of zestiness when confronted with so much meat or in case we need it douse out the flames in our mouth from the fiery chicken.  And since they claim that it doesn't have any colouring or added sugar, we can safely drink to our hearts content! ;D

Their set menu is available all day and they also have lunch sets (that are only available from 11am to 3pm).  But if none of those catches your fancy, you can order from their a la carte menu (which I did) and I was served with this complimentary pickled radish.  The slight tartness of the crunchy radish brings a much needed fresh note to your palate when you're indulging in so much fried food.

I went with an a la carte order of Regular Honey Wingettes & Drumettes (8 pcs) @ RM18 (medium is 12 pcs for RM24 and Large is 20 pcs for RM39.50) since the set meals don't offer the honey option.  This was just so that I can taste all 3 flavours and compare.

You know that the chicken is freshly cooked when it arrives at your table piping hot!  The first thing that hits you is the wonderful aroma of the fried chicken doused in a sweet and all-natural honey sauce.  I would say that the coating for the honey series was the crunchiest of the three.  The skin was so crunchy and yet sticky sweet (but not overly sweet) that it was simply divine!  The wingettes and drumettes were utterly succulent.  This, I believe, will be the absolute favourite of young children (and many adults too) because of its crunchy and sweet texture.

And they're even thoughtful enough to provide you with a container for your that's service for you! ;)

The Mixed Berries Drink @ RM8.90 was a mixture of blackberries, blueberries and blackcurrant.  It tasted grape-like with some crushed berries at the bottom...a refreshing thirst quencher is always welcomed.

After tasting all three flavours available for their fried chicken, I wanted to try their SalSal Strips as well.  So, I packed some for home (together with an extra order of Garlic Fried Rice @ RM5.90) and it came in a paper bag that looked more like I had a shopping item in there than food (I haven't the faintest idea why they would want to put his face on the bag instead of an enticing picture of their fried chicken...I guess they want to get their money's worth for engaging him as the "face of KyoChon") :D

This was the Regular Salsal Strips (8 pcs) @ RM20 (I took one out to taste).  These were boneless chicken breast strips coated in a special rice batter.  The coating of the rice crispies were alright but the chicken breasts, though thoroughly tender, was bland.  This was one thing you can't eat just on its own as it had no flavour whatsoever. 

It needed help (big-time) from the 3 dipping sauces available of Jambalaya, Honey Mustard or Red.  For the regular portion, you can choose 2 of the 3 dipping sauces and I went with Jambalaya and Honey Mustard (since Red would probably be something similar to the Red Fried Chicken which I already had).  The Jambalaya sauce tasted like some kind of a barbeque sauce and, although I hate mustard, the honey mustard was not as pungent as I envisaged.  However, both sauces still missed the mark for me.
My Personal Opinion
This KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) simply annihilated the other (used to be "finger lickin' good" but is now "sogood") KFC!  Okay, okay, it's not fair to compare the two since this is premium priced chicken.  I would gladly pay this premium price in the blink of an eye! :D  But, I would just stick with the fried chicken and stay away from anything SalSal :'(

Of the three flavours, if your criteria is crunchy, then go for the honey option.  If it's savoury (but with subtle saltiness) you want, choose original soy.  And if you like it hot, then the obvious choice of red will serve you well.  For the masses, honey will probably be the no. 1 choice and original being the least popular.  For my personal preference, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I like original soy first, honey a very close second and red a distant third.  That's because I don't want something so overly spicy until it numbs my taste buds for anything else after that.  Plus, I believe fried chicken should always be savoury (first) and not sweet.  I enjoyed the subtle savouriness of the original option and the crunchiness of the honey if they could marry the two, then that would be my most ideal fried chicken....kekeke...but, for now, I'll just have both! ;D

Now, if only they have an option for all three parts of the chicken (drumstick, wing and drumette) in all three flavours (original, honey and spicy) on one plate, that will be the most ideal plate (I think) for many people.

Seriously, I've not tasted fried chicken this good (or 'healthy' *wink*) for a while now and I can understand why this tagline is on their serviettes...."chicken like you've never had before".....and I agree wholeheartedly!

I'm not into Korean dramas (or the Korean superstar heart-throb either), K-pop or even Kimchi....but this Korean fried chicken......I likey! ;)

Kyochon 1991
Lot 1.54 - 1.58 Level 1
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 012-611 9435


  1. Korean Fried Chicken, otherwise known as Kyochon Fried Chicken XD

    I am confused, all my friends who have been to Korea come back and said, Korean fast food and fried chicken are a joke, very nasty to eat. Yet now they open an outlet here selling premium priced fried chicken, and apparently it seems excellent. Hmm...

    1. People coming home from overseas...or even my friends from Singapore will tell you that the KFC here is a lot nicer too!

    2. Maybe your friends tried a different 'brand' of Korean fried chicken? You can see all the awards that they've won printed in the menu and their claim of more than 1,000 outlets, they must be doing something right. Well, the only way to find out is to try it out for yourself! ;)

    3. But my friends and family who have been overseas will tell me that the fast food there is way nicer than ours....even McDonalds! That's why it's best to judge for yourself.

  2. My girl loves the Korean fried chicken place here, a different franchise - Pelicana. Nice! They have opened some outlets in KL/PJ like their E-Curve outlet, Petaling Jaya,(next to IKEA) opening on 30th & 31st MAY 2015 and there's an outlet at Atria Mall,Damansara Jaya! Bet she would love to go and try this one should we happen to go over to KL - she loves anything Korean, and the mum too!

    1. Oh...thanks for the tip. If I'm ever in the area, I can give this franchise a try.

  3. freshly fried chicken is the best ya ... i love biting into a piece, with the hot crisp skin yielding to juicy flesh :D

    1. I totally agree....freshly fried to order is the best...and not the fast food type of pre-fried chicken and sitting in heated shelves!

  4. I believe I will like the Regular Salsal Strips because I don't like sauces so those with soy sauce, honey sauce are not for me and definitely not the very spicy red sauce, no, no, no. But for 8 pcs @ RM20 I would have to really think whether to buy and try or not because the way you put it, I am really, really tempted to go buy and try. I have walked past this place in One Utama many times but never try because chicken is my last option when it comes to food.

    1. The spicy red sauce ones are my girl's favourite! Nicest of the ours here, the other one where you add the yellow sauce (something like honey mustard) yourself is good too - anytime better than KFC, my girl would insist!

    2. You're really funny...the very thing I suggested to stay away from (the SalSal strips) is the very thing that you want to try! :D But then we know you've always liked food that is bland or tasteless. These SalSal strips are pretty probably will be able to eat just 2 pcs.

  5. i like kyochon, though i sometimes wish they'd offer drumsticks and thighs too ... cos i like my chicken pieces as meaty and fleshy as possible! :)

    1. Drumsticks, thighs, wingettes, drumettes, everything on one plate....then everyone gets their favourite part! :D

  6. Thanks for the peak inside. I've walked past but haven't been in.

    1. You're welcome...this is something fried but slightly (just slightly) healthier! ;D


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