Korean chicken wings: Photo by Mark Davis

Korean chicken wings: Photo by Mark Davis

Not too long ago, finding a neighborhood restaurant with international flavors beyond Mexican, Italian and Chinese cuisine proved challenging. Nowadays, selection abounds with local culinary options such as Vietnamese, Thai, a Latin deli, and now: Korean fusion. Bonchon, which opened on Upper Greenville in December, serves various Korean-inspired dishes such as rice bowls, fried octopus dumplings and bulgogi (Korean beef), to name a few. But general manager Stewart Murray says the Korean fried chicken wings are everyone’s favorite by far.

For those uninitiated, these aren’t your typical Southern fried chicken wings, nor are they of the finger-lickin’ Buffalo wing variety. Think of Korean chicken wings as a sort of hybrid between the two — crispy, saucy, complex — but just as delightful to devour. The restaurant’s fried chicken recipe originated in South Korea, where founder Jinduk Seh opened the first Bonchon more than a decade ago with the goal of sharing his locale’s comfort food with the world. (Bonchon is Korean for “my hometown.”) To achieve the flavor, Bonchon lightly dusts its wings with flour and water before frying some 20 minutes. Once they’re cooked, the wings are hand-brushed with one of two top-secret sauces imported from Korea: soy-garlic or hot and spicy (made with gochugaro, a Korean spice).

The 20-minute wait time has been a gripe for some customers, but Murray says it is well worth it, since the wings are fresh and cooked to order. “We like to call ourselves craft wings and craft beer, and we stand by that.”

Similar to the carrots that often accompany Buffalo wings, cubed daikon radish comes with Bonchon wings, and it sufficiently cools the palate if you choose to go the hot-and-spicy route. Or you can find refreshment while sipping a pint from Bonchon’s horseshoe-shaped bar boasting 18 draft beers, the majority of which are craft beers made in North Texas.

Bonchon Chicken
5500 Greenville, Suite 1300

Ambiance: Casual
Hours:  11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday
Price:  $9-$15
Tip:  Happy Hour specials include $3 wells, $4 house wine by the glass, and $1 off domestic drafts, 3-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

More Asian food

1 Woo Mee Oak
Find this gem among a cluster of quality Asian restaurants just east of Richland College. The service is friendly, prices are low, atmosphere is laid back and the cuisine, which features Korean BBQ, earns consistently good reviews from even the pickiest critics.
10560 Walnut 972.272.9909

2 Joy Kitchen
Located near Berkner High School, it’s only a wee bit outside our neighborhood. Large portions of sizzling Korean beef and fresh vegetables, and all-you-want rice, tea and sweet rice milk make it worth the trip.
1455 Buckingham 972.479.9450

3 BB Bop Seoul
Spicy chicken and dumplings, Korean tacos or wings, and build-your-own bops (a mixed rice dish) are among the favorites at this low-key Upper Greenville (near Lovers) eatery. Sweeten the meal with green mint tea or hibiscus limeade.
5323 Greenville 214.812.9342