Ungteori Tongdak 엉터리통닭 (Itaewon, Haebangchon, Seoul)

For those who are crazy about finding the best Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) in Seoul, you definitely have plenty of great places to choose from. You’ve got your ubiquitous chains like Kyochon, Two Two, Neh Neh, Goobneh, Kkanbu, and BBQ Chicken—all solid choices from my experience—to the smaller, non-franchised joints like Reggae Chicken in Hongdae and Hanchu (one of my personal favorites) in Apgujeong. Through word of mouth, I was able to find another fantastic joint in the foreigner-friendly district of Itaewon, or more precisely Kyungridan off of Noksapyeong Station.

Ungteori Tongdak (엉터리통닭) is a small mom n pop place serving by far the crispiest, crunchiest, and loudest fried chicken hands-down in Seoul. To my knowledge, I can’t ever recall eating anything as close to crunchy as I did here, giving my mouth a much-needed workout while at the same time thinking how they were able to get the skin so crispy (answer: high heat, double fry). The crispy, crackly outer shell alone would have given them the nod for best chicken in town, but they were slightly lacking in one area: proper seasoning. The seasoning here was on the mild side and lacked eye-popping flavors that I was expecting. The lack of the seasoning, which I hate to admit, had me dipping the pieces in the standard sweet and spicy sticky sauce which accompanied the pieces. If they were to notch it up a bit with their spices or possibly brine the chicken beforehand, this place would easily take the top spot in my opinion.

On this particular occasion, I had the pleasure of meeting up with the unofficial KFC Queen at SeoulFoodie for this review. She, like me, is absolutely crazy about KFC and was rumored to hit up an amazing 5 different fried chicken places in one night. Here’s what she had to say about the place:

“Also finally tried 엉터리통닭 (ungturee) fried chicken in Kyunglidan! It’s a well known local hole-in-the-wall joint with super crispy batter/skin. Although it was extremely crunchy, it didn’t have as much flavour as I like – but it was def. the most crunchiest fried chicken I’ve ever had! They only have two things on their menu – this and 골뱅이무침 (spicy conch w. noodles) so we ordered one of each. Super nice owners, a lovely mom and pop shop but I will have to stick to my favorite Korean fried chicken joint.”

“In order to have good friend chicken, you should wash and season the bird the morning you’re preparing it for dinner. Don’t wait and do it right before you start cooking. Throw it in the refrigerator, seasoned, that morning, and give it a chance to soak up all the salt and pepper and goodness.” ~ Paula Deen

 

Food ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★½ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

 

Ungteori Tongdak (엉터리통닭)

Address: 225-154 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 

Phone: 02-790-7737

Hours: Open daily 3pm ~ 7am

Directions via Naver map: http://me2.do/5JsaSwP3

 

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The crispiest birds this side of Seoul.
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In all its glorious forms.
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Golbaengi Muchim 골뱅이무침 (Spicy Sea Whelks w Noodles)
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Complimentary salad with soy-wasabi dressing.
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The spread.
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High heat, double fry = crunchy, crispy birds.
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Small, intimate, hole-in-the-wall, and did I forget to say small.
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Don’t you dare bring coffee or food from other places into their establishment. No!
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With only two dishes—KFC @ 14,000 won and Spicy Snail Whelks w Noodles @ 15,000 won—the place must be doing something right.
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On the flip side, don’t you dare get take-out and take it to other establishments. They have been getting complaints non-stop about customers taking their food to other places.
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Ajeossi doing his thing every day, all day from 3pm ~ 7am.
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Go up Kyungridan towards the Hyatt until you see the red n white sign to your right.

 

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