Something Uniquely Different 4

Recently Opened Bonchon Restaurant Offers Korean Cuisine, And Excellent Fried Chicken

The options for a unique eating experience in Lee’s Summit have expanded with the recent opening of Bonchon. Located in Summit Woods Crossing next to Payless Shoes, the Asian-category restaurant offers the best of both worlds: satisfying a craving for something totally different, or something traditional.

It’s an odd combination that makes sense when you learn the eatery’s background. Turns out, Americans and Koreans share a common love of fried chicken as comfort food. The restaurant’s founder wanted to share one of his country’s favorites with the world, and opened the first restaurant in 2002 in the coastal city of Busan, South Korea. There are now stores across the world, and the U.S.

So, fried chicken is the “something traditional” specialty, and it’s also something spectacular.  If that is what you opt for on your visit, the way it works is this: 1. Choose your chicken (wings, drums, strips or combo); 2. Choose your sauce (spicy, soy garlic or half & half). Bonchon cooks each order individually, using the highest quality ingredients, and hand-brushing each piece with their savory, secret sauces. The soy garlic strips I enjoyed were incredibly tender and juicy. The sauce forms an utterly perfect crust that is both light and crisp–a different taste and texture experience from our classic Southern fried chicken.

While much of the food comprised in Asian food is similar, it is the spices, cooking techniques and serving style that distinguish the various regions and countries. Bonchon’s “something totally different” options introduce taste buds to the spices distinct to Korean cuisine. I won’t spoil the surprise by describing Bonchon’s here so you can have your own culinary adventure. My own gastro-adventure (in addition to indulging in that terrific chicken) began with appetizers of potstickers with soy garlic sauce ($8.95), and edamame ($5.95). For the entrée I wanted to try the most traditional Korean dish, so the waitress guided me to bibimbap, white rice with assorted vegetables topped with a raw egg, served in a sizzling stone bowl with Korean red pepper paste on the side. It can be topped with spicy chicken, tofu, seafood or bulgogi, which is thinly sliced tender rib eye beef marinated and aged with a homemade sauce. ($13.95) I of course chose the very-Korean bulgogi. The raw egg can be cooked upon request, but for the full cultural experience, having it served in the classic raw form is fun. It does cook with the heat of the ingredients and bowl as you stir it in.

The ambiance is modern and clean, with TVs for sports watching and a bar to compliment. It’s a family-friendly place, too, and Lee’s Summit’s owners created their own special kids’ menu. The unique combination of offerings makes it possible to please a variety of diners.

Though a franchise, this location is locally owned and its owners are committed to giving back to the community by being generous to local nonprofits.

“Bonchon” is the Korean word for “my hometown.” Welcome to ours!