You see, even when both recipes work with the same chicken part - wings, obviously - they are really worlds apart. Buffalo wings hail from Buffalo, New York. They are chicken wings, fried unbreaded and then coated in a sauce composed of vinegar-based cayenne pepper and butter. NY wings are typically served with vegetable sticks (celery, for instance) and a dip (like ranch or blue cheese).
The likes of Bon Chon and Chicken Charlie, on the other hand, hail from Seoul, South Korea. Like buffalo wings, Korean "paper fried chicken" is fried unbreaded and mostly unseasoned. Unlike buffalo wings, however, Korean fried chicken will not be slathered in sauce but will only be lightly seasoned with soy and garlic or hot pepper sauce. Like I said, Korean chicken is fried twice, resulting in a delicate, crunchy, paper-like skin. It is often served with pickled relish and ahhh, beer.
Between the two, I now know that I'm a fan of buffalo. Hence, my original opinion of Chicken Charlie. But if I had to choose a brand of Korean fried chicken, I'd pick Chicken Charlie over Bon Chon any day. Here's why.
First off, Bon Chon has become so popular in Manila that the crowds are starting to get uncool. In fairness to Bon Chon, we didn't have to wait as long as we did at Chicken Charlie but the lack of breathing space was really such a hassle. Ang ingay pati.
I'll give plus points for the presentation. At least Bon Chon gave out actual utensils and plates. Haha
But as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Based solely on my personal experience, Chicken Charlie's chicken is crispier and much tastier than Bon Chon's. Bon Chon chicken is crispy on the outside alright, but the meat to me was tasteless. Chicken Charlie's soy garlic chicken tasted like soy garlic even without the skin.
There you go. Be wary though that whoever is declared victor in this Battle of the Chickens will basically still depend on personal tastes. Pao for instance likes Bon Chon more. Malik just likes the fries and (off topic) Chowking's Chicharap. Teehee
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