Ahhhh the crunchy, sweet, spicy Korean Fried Chicken! I can still taste and feel its thin, crackly skin and tender, juicy meat in my mouth! I’m talking about Bonchon, the most famous Korean fried chicken brand in the Philippines. Their branches are always full to the brim with people eating their Soy Garlic and Spicy chicken wings. Yummy! We’ve always wanted a branch of Bonchon in Riyadh but we know we’re kind of wishing in a well full of restaurant ideas that just involves steaks and burgers. Enough of those already and let’s move in to other cuisines please! Please Riyadh businessmen please! Haha! Thankfully, we now have a restaurant serving Korean fried chicken! Let’s start with new eats for this new year!
Well technically, Kimchikin is not new. It opened in October of last year. I was a stalker of Kimchikin’s Facebook page. This is the closest thing to Bonchon we’ll have here so it’s no wonder I was glued to their announcement page 24/7. So when this contemporary Korean restaurant finally opened its branch in Riyadh, my heart sang praises and I kept on nagging my husband to accompany me here.
Kimchikin promises a new international twist to the traditional Korean dishes. They are famous for their delicious chicken wings cooked using special techniques that delivers an extra crispy texture, 100% natural ingredients that bring a savory favor, and 100% vegetable oil that is trans-fat free. Sounded promising to me! Their orange theme throughout the restaurant can either make or break your dining experience. It can irritate your eyes because #toomuchorange and brightness or it can give you a refreshing view and ambiance. Either way, you have no choice but to endure it. I like their wood furniture and drop lights though.
On our first visit, we just came for the chicken wings really but since we were there already, we decided to try their other Korean dishes.
Their fried Zingy Wingys come in Soy Garlic sauce and Spicy Garlic Soy. We tried both and while not as flavorful as Bonchon, they were okay. The skin is crispy and the meat inside is tender. It wasn’t just jaw-dropping good for me. There was no Wow! factor. There’s a need to put more sauce on their wings because I couldn’t taste much of it. The wings are a bit small too. Considering that Saudi Arabia has the best chicken suppliers in the world, they should probably improve on this.
We also ordered their boneless Yangnyum Chicken, their authentic Korean fried chicken. The chicken is covered in a red, sticky sauce that doesn’t look appetizing. I mean, it looked different on the menu! We chose the spicy version and it was indeed spicy with a hint of sweetness to it. The small pieces of boneless meats were crispy on the outside and hot and tender in the inside.
I was also excited to try their Bibimbap, a mix of rice, julienned vegetables, and egg. It sure did look great on the bowl but once mixed together and I have taken a spoonful of the rice and the bits of egg and vegetables, I was disappointed. It was bland. The rice was overwhelming, the chilli paste wasn’t as flavorful, and the other ingredients didn’t have the chance to shine (this is like a group performance you know, haha). This is not the one-bowl wonder I was looking forward to. Maybe I should have ordered the Bulgogi Rice since bulgogi is one of my favorite Korean dishes.
My husband tried the Kong Namul Noodles. He wanted something warm to soothe his throat and stomach and Korean food being the mother of all comfort foods, he went for the spicy soup noodles. He declared that the Maggi noodles at home has more taste in its broth. Haha! He was so disappointed he asked me never to drag me again to this place, or any place that’s hyped for that matter. Haha!
Kimchikin offers meals for groups ranging from SR 95 to SR 109. They have different version of fried rice. I’d like to try that Kimchi Fried Rice next time. They also have sides from French Fries to Sour Radish to Corn Salad to Kimchi Coleslaw and more. Don’t be too disappointed that they don’t taste authentic Korean because Kimchikin takes the traditional and put modern twists to the food. So there’s that to ponder upon.
One thing that I noticed in Kimchickin is that their actual food differs from what the look like in the pictures. The food that came into our table didn’t look like the pictures. Case in point: the Yangnyum Chicken looks like it has a very red, thick sauce that covers every inch of the chicken part but in real life, it just have this red, thin, sticky sauce that was sloppily lathered on top of the chicken with some sesame seeds. The Bibimbap looks loaded with vegetables that are placed carefully on top of the rice. When the real thing came to our table, it looked haphazardly done. That’s it? What happened? Lol. Don’t be fooled by food photos in the menu. Also, we waited for quite a while for our food to come. We heard friends who waited for more than an hour for their food and they came out of the restaurant frustrated and angry. I’m not sure if it’s still the same now that it’s already January and three months has gone by since their opening. Hopefully, they have already improved their slow service. We understand that they prepare the food upon order but still, no one should be made to wait for a looong time for food.
They offer delivery now so I guess you don’t have to go and wait in the restaurant. You can just wait at home, haha!
Have you tried Kimchikin? What’s your take on it?
Prince Mamdouh Bin Abdulaziz Street,
Suleimania, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia [MAP]
Operating Hours: 12:30 PM to 12:30 AM