Went to this interesting chicken joint next to Cheongyecheon creek (청계천). BBQ (비비큐), a chicken franchise, has many different type of store concepts with the premium cafe being the flagship option. In addition to having chicken like at all BBQ locations, they have brunch items, cafe drinks, desserts, beer, and even Korean food on the menu as well. You can find this particular branch by getting out of exit 5 of Jongak Station (종각역) and walking south to Cheongyecheon creek. Then walk on the north side along the creek towards the Pagoda tower and you’ll see it next to The Coffee Bean.
This restaurant was about 3 stories tall and felt very posh. From the lighting to the tables and settings, everything felt quite premium indeed. Some elements were a bit strange to see such as a mural on the ceiling of the 3rd floor, and table mats with advertisements of their new chicken entrees.
…We did end up getting both by the way…but it’s not because of the endorsements…I think, or at least I hope.
There are quite a few items on the menu, and have another one just for drinks. They definitely tried to provide something for everyone, but I can’t help but think it only gives customers choice paralysis. Strangely enough, they ran out of green tea lattes which was a big disappointment to hear from a “premium cafe”. My party mostly ended up getting beers instead of cafe drinks anyway, so we weren’t all disappointed.
“Cheesling” Chicken (치즐링) – 21,000 won
Fried to a crisp and covered with cheesy powder, this was actually quite delicious. The chicken itself was fried very well, and the cheese powder added a very nice touch. The cheese itself tastes like a cross somewhere in between cheddar and parmesan with herbs and when mixed with the moist oils of the meat inside, it created a unique tasting experience. Kind of like the feeling you get when your ramen soup mix gets a little wet. It was a good experience in my book. The meat was very tasty and cooked just long enough to not be raw. This chicken is full of “umami”, which is the savory taste. Very well done.
Honey Garlic Chicken 하니 갈릭스 – 20900
The honey garlic had a wonderful smell once it came out. You could smell the garlic. You can taste a little bit of sweetness from the honey, but it’s quite subtle. The savoriness of the chicken and the bold garlic flavor overpower the honey flavor. The sauce is also a bit too thick for it’s own good as it makes the texture of the fried chicken skin somewhat clumpy. I personally like mine on the crispier side. Overall it was still pretty decent, but I definitely like the cheeseling more.
New York Tender Strips Platter – Med 19.9k won/ Large 27k won
The New York Tender Strips platter was a winner in my book. Super flaky and crispy outside with hints of panko covering perfectly moist chicken. I couldn’t get enough of it!
The crispiness of the skin was amazingly delicate and multidimensional. I detected a slight kick here and there. There was ketchup and mustard to dip the chicken in.
Golden Olive Chicken Platter – Med 19.9k won/ Large 27k won
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try this, but my friend wasn’t too impressed by it. I thought it looked pretty good, but maybe you’re better off trying the more unique items on the menu.
Overall, I had no problems with the establishment and I enjoyed their unique chicken flavors. This place was a bit pricey and the store seemed to lack a clear vision, unless of course that vision was to confuse their customers. They should perhaps consider downsizing the menu if they couldn’t provide common cafe beverages. They have quite a selection of beers, so if anything it is a decent spot for chicken and beer.