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The Original Bon Chon Chicken is Now in Manila!

  Bonchon Chicken-30

Bon Chon Chicken, the Korean foodie favorite in New York, is finally here in Manila! This is the official Philippine franchise from Korea and NOT a franchise of the 4 Fingers Bon Chon in Singapore.

Bon Chon is the original double-fried chicken from Korea. The first fry removes all the fat and makes it "paper-fried crisp" and then the second fry includes the secret sauce.

The chicken is bigger than that of Chicken Charlie's and a bit more expensive also. I liked its soy-garlic flavor, which has ginseng as a secret ingredient. The sauce was a bit bitin, though, and did not cover the entire chicken well.

Related Blog Posts:
Chicken Charlie - Manila's "Bonchon" Crispy Chicken?
Wee Nam Kee's Hainanese Chicken Rice Now in Manila!

Bonchon Chicken-32
Bon Chon's ambiance feels like a classier fast food setup / quick self-service restaurant where you order at the counter and wait for your food to be served at the table.

Bonchon Chicken-15 
Bon Chon Original Chicken, Chopped Salads, Entrees
  | Value Meals, Sides & Appetizers, Beverages

To give a perspective on the price, a combination of 3 drumsticks + 6 wings at Chicken Charlie would only cost P279 (P31/chicken), but at Bon Chon Chicken, it would be P365 (P41/chicken).

Despite that, just hearing stories of New Yorkers lining up for this chicken, I would gladly pay for the additional premium because I can already get it here in our home country. :)

Bonchon Chicken-12
This corner table is nice, especially if you are on a date. The simple silhouette artwork on the walls add a nice touch, too.

Bonchon Chicken-8
For me, the best tables are those that face the garden. The al fresco tables are definitely the best place to eat. The Ayala Garden view is the main reason why I've been going back to this row of restaurants everyday.

Bonchon Chicken-17
Drumstick
(3 pcs. - P185)
. Soy Garlic.

The drumstick is bigger and costs P62 each. The skin is really crispy and there's no added layer of flour. I find the sauce more subtle -- it seems like it's teasing you to take a bite again and again.

For some reason, they don't allow mixed sauces in the chicken combos so we had to order the drumstick and wings separately.

Bonchon Chicken-25
Chicken Wings
(Small 6pcs. - P185). Hot & Spicy.

The best parts are the chicken wings (P31/pc)! Here, the sauce is more evident, and you can enjoy cleaning up every inch of meat and skin with your teeth. I liked the spiciness, which was just right for me, but my wife found it too hot.

Bonchon Chicken-14Bonchon Chicken-21
French Fries
(P45)
. The hand-cut fries were just OK. Aidan loved the chicken, though.

Bonchon Chicken-26
Kimchi Coleslaw
(P45).

This is the best side dish for me, with its flavorful kimchi kick. The chicken also goes well with the pickled radish.

Bonchon Chicken-20 
Chicken Chop Rice (P125).

We also ordered the Chicken chop with rice. This turned out to be more value-for-money because it has two big pieces of chicken breasts coated with the sauce. 

Bon Chon is marketed as offering healthier chicken because the fat is drained and ginseng is used in the sauce. Nevertheless, I'm still not buying the healthy angle since the chicken is double-fried.

Bonchon Chicken-35
We were fortunate to meet Scott Tan (twitter/@scotttan) who owns the Philippine Franchise and THE president of Bon Chon Korea and USA -- Mr. Jinduk Seh. He is leaving Manila on the 23rd to open the Bangkok franchise, so get the rare chance to meet him while he is here in the metro.

Scott was chosen because he was the most persistent among the Bon Chon franchise bidders. I'm glad he franchised direct from Korea instead of the 4 Fingers in Singapore.

Bonchon Chicken-37

We are indeed happy that Bon Chon is finally here in Manila! It was a bit anti-climactic for us, though, since we experienced the double-fried crispness from Chicken Charlie (which has a more Pinoy-tasting sauce).

Overall, Bon Chon is definitely better (and more expensive too), but they just need to be more consistent in coating their chicken with the sauce so that their customers get the full taste experience.

Bon Chon Chicken Philippines
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City
(No reservations; No phone number yet)
Operating Hours
: Everyday 11am to 10pm

Parking Options:
1st Option: Park on Makati Ave., near the corner of Ayala beside the Makati Stock Exchange
(closed on Sundays & holidays)
2nd Option: Park in the Basement. The entrance is along Paseo de Roxas, right after you turn from Ayala

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Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals and we are not connected with the owners in any way.

P.S. Here is the schedule of the Christmas at the GARDENS featuring Parol! The restaurants row will be busy at night and maybe we will be back for the Makati Inter-School Christmas Caroling Competition.

Bonchon Chicken-40

Christmas at the GARDENS featuring Parol! Official Schedule
Celebrate Makati's New Christmas Tradition - A Thousand Stars, A Thousand Lights.

November 17 5.30 pm | Beginnning of Symphony of Parols, a Lights and Sound Show and formal launch of Restaurants at the Ayala Triangle Gardens.

November 17-December 23. 6.00-8.00 pm | Symphony of Parols. A Lights & Sound show (Every 30 minutes): With special weekend shows on December 18 and 19.

November 23 6.00 pm | Holiday Dance Fusion at the Gardens. Free Dance Lessons from Professional Instructors.

December 1 to 3 and 6 to 10 5.30 pm | Makati Inter-School Christmas Caroling Competition.

December 1 and 8 6.00pm | Christmas Serenade at the Gardens. Free Concerts by Renowned Performers.

December 15 to 23 6.00pm | Anticipated Simbang Gabi.

Search restaurant menus and get freebies all over the metro.

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arrrghhh.

expensive!!!

but i'm definitely lining up though.
are the chicken pieces as small/large as charlie's?

Yes the Chicken Pieces are larger than Charlie's. Actually, medjo bitin if you just eat a few pieces...

wow i'll definitely come here!
i've been to chicken charlie three times, and had bad experiences the second and third time... the chicken wasn't hot and crispy anymore and the chicken tasted more like the oil used to fry them rather than the flavor.. the chicken itself was dark already because of the oil.. :( so even if bonchon is more expensive, i'd gladly spend for the extra!!

Which taste better Charlie or Bonchon? I've tried chicken charlie pero the meat was dry and bland, mas nalasan ko pa yung oil na parang ilang beses na ginamit.


Bon Chon is better

Sent from Mobile


Just tried the chicken wings. They're extremely dry (and taste like they were reheated, in fact, they were served kinda cold) unlike the ones they serve in NYC (freshly cooked and not too dry) or compared to UFC Chicken also in NY. I hope it's because they're just on their soft opening stage.

OMG! thank you for this post. I was looking for info about bonchon chicken and viola!
BTW, speaking of chicken chop, you may also want to try big daddy's chicken chops. they're a stall in Greenhills theater Mall
not as crispy as bonchon, but they make yummy and large chicken chops
though the chicken chops there are not fillets so be careful about the chicken bones
on a side note - thank you for making your wall menu pictures much clearer, more readable. :-D

Could you please write reviews of HEALTHY foods more often? PLEASE?! Organic food, vegetarian food, raw foods, sustainable food... PLEASE!

I subscribe to your blog but I often feel nauseous reading the list of greasy meats you rave about. There are no vitamins or fiber in the meal you described above (unless you count the microscopic serving of coleslaw in mayo) -- and you feed this to your kid!?

I suspect that your blog is inadvertently contributing to a rise in obesity, stomach and colonic cancer, coronary disease, diabetes, kidney failure etcetc in your readers. Maybe you should survey them on their blood sugar and cholesterol levels sometime.


This is a hard hitting comment and I appreciate it very much. Will publish more healthy food posts starting December. Thanks so much for this comment!

Sent from Mobile

Dear Creative Consumption,

Why dont you try to start a blog of your own centering on healthy foods? That would be a great balance to the "greasy meats" raved about here in Anton's blog. :)

It seems outrageous to blame this blog for food related ailments. Food is the spice of life. Moderation with a dash of common sense is key. If you feel it is unhealthy, eat less of it. Studies show that depriving yourself only makes it worse. I appreciate this blog because it shows me the different options out there.

My wife and I searched out and found this resto on 5th Ave. when we were in NYC earlier this month. Glad to know they're here.

im definitely going here! :) i cant wait!

my friend's the one who made the sounds for the sound and lights show :D

hi anton, thanks for this post. will try this restaurant next week.
do they accept credit cards already?


Cash basis only

Sent from Mobile

We had a light snack at Bon Chon at around 2 PM and our order was served in less than 5 minutes. The chicken was not hot, almost lukewarm. I suspect that they pre-cooked the chicken already. Bon Chon is famous in NY for making their customers wait at least 45 minutes because they freshly cook the chicken upon ordering. I was disappointed that the chicken we were served was pre-cooked, it was soggy and not crispy. I like the sauce better at Bon Chon, but the chicken at Chicken Charlie is crispier. Hopefully they can improve on this since they are still on soft opening.

is it true that there'll be BonChon near The Spa at Libis area? i saw a tarpaulin at the area early this morning


Yes Bon Chon is owned by the owners of The Spa

Sent from Mobile

nice! that would be really great!! so near to our working place! *excited!*

Sarap! :) i'll have to go there when I have time from work

Hi Anton, I'm pretty sure the operating hours listed above was verified (Operating Hours: Everyday 11am to 10pm) prior to you posting it, but when we went there on Sunday, it was closed! Can you please reconfirm and update your post (if necessary)? Thanks!

i was supposed to eat here last night but both Wee Nam Kee and Bon Chon are unusually full last night. that was around 5:00PM palang ha. not even dinner time yet.

There are lots of flies outside the restaurant buzzing around the tables. Also it would be nice if there were overhead fans blowing air across the tables.

fried chicken like this is a typical food here in korea. we love to eat it anytime we want, we just call their store and they deliver it to our home with some side dishes, mostly pickled raddish for free. there are about 5 or 6 chicken store in every neighborhood here. we love to eat it with pizza. i'm glad it's getting popular nowadays there in the philippines. if i'm not mistaken there's an authentic korean owned chicken store there in philippines, it's called TWO-TWO i think it's in ortigas.

this is not a health food blog, i think you're lost madam/mister.

same price with here, 1 box of fried chicken (i think 10 pcs.) here in korea is around KRW15,000~16,000, KRW1,000 = US$1.

Hi! I tried Bonchon chicken last Saturday at their Greenbelt1 store and had a fantastic time. Service was fast and efficient and the chicken was excellent :) It was not cheap though, but still definitely worth going back to again. I hope all these other Korean style chicken wing places like UFC open in Manila too!

I wrote about them in my blog. Pls feel free to check it out :)

http://www.wanderlustabouttown.com/2011/01/bonchon-chicken-love-and-other-drugs.html

Hi Anton! I was wondering, what's wrong with the 4 Fingers franchise from Singapore? :)

Chicken wings tasted ok but it was extraordinarily crispy. :) Liked Soy Garlic more than the spicy ones.

I took some pics:

http://randomthoughtsinabox.blogspot.com/2011/03/bon-chon-chicken.html

wow! look so yummy! i will try this! since malapit lng sa megamall!.. Second thought, mejo mahal sya ah!. and ang taas ng ihi nyo, nakausap nyo pa yung may Ari!. cge na, kayo na! kayo na! dapat ibigay na lang sa mahihirap ang mga excess na pera!hindi mag blog at ipakita ang yaman sa iba! -

We tried this yesterday at Greenbelt 1. While the caesar salad was yummy and the kimchi coleslaw had a really nice kick to it, the chicken was a failure. It was not succulent at all--the wings were overcooked and dry! Since the batter is so thick, it makes the already dried-up chicken meat seem even less. I had two pieces, just to be sure, then walked out. I guess what made it really, really disappointing is that this is hyped to be the 'best chicken in America' by New York Times, GQ and Esquire. I hope they bring the same quality to Manila.

The Libis branch is always full. Chicken wasn't that hot, but it was very tasty. I will definitely go back. But they need to improve on parking facilities in the Libis branch.

4 Fingers Singapore claims to be a BonChon franchise but it's not. They are embroiled with a big legal dispute with the original BonChon

Tried Bon Chon for the first time last week. Ordered this through their delivery service last week. Quality of the chicken was really bad. I ordered their biggest package too, afraid we'd be bitin considering how a lot of people were raving about it. Turns out it was a really sad way to spend almost P800. If it weren't so expensive, I'd have thrown it away :(

The best part of any Korean fried chicken is really the smaller part of the wing section. I think it's called flats as opposed to the drumstick. It has the most succulent dark meat and is surrounded by very crispy skin. Very high skin to meat ratio so is a bit unhealthy but worth it. The wing drumstick is white meat, and although meaty, it has a tendency to be dry due to the long frying time. I wish they would offer flats only pieces in any of the korean wing places. Alternatively, if you're in a group, you could pick them off quietly as most people would go for the bigger drumstick. Your friends will even think that you're just being generous in offering them the bigger pieces.

I had their chicken for the first time a week ago and it's not something I would go back to. Tama na ang isang beses. It's nothing special and I've had better. In fact, I'd rather have KFC than this. Papatayin ko na nga lang ang sarili ko eh doon na ako sa gusto ko. Lol!

I love Bon Chon Chicken. But my favorite there isn't just the chicken but the fish fillet, similarly crunchy and coated with their sauce. I also recommend the caesar salad. It's probably the best cheap, fast-food type caesar salad you can find. Their dressing is very good!

I love chicken! It will be great with vegetable salad.

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