On one of the first warm Sunday nights of the year, we worked up an appetite walking around Yards Park and then headed over to Bonchon. There are multiple Bonchons in the DC area and we have been to the one in Rockville and the one in Hyattsville, but the Navy Yard location is by far the most modern and has the nicest bar.
This location has a good beer selection, so Marnay got a Hardywood Singel on draft while I got a bottle of Victory Golden Monkey, a Belgian Tripel. There are a few other choices on the menu, but you cannot go to Bonchon without getting their signature dish. The point of going to Bonchon is to eat the golden, double-fried Korean Fried Chicken.
Because the chicken is made to order, it can take a while. We ordered edamame to tide us over. The soybeans were nicely salted and went well with our cold beers.
Twenty-five to thirty minutes after we ordered our small combo of wings and drumsticks with soy garlic glaze arrived. Biting into Bonchon fried chicken is one of the most satisfying culinary experiences that I can think of. The glaze has a garlicky flavor which comes out initially but then moves to more sweet and salty. The chicken is fresh and piping hot, the crust shattering as soon as you bite into it.
Our server was very friendly and engaging. My only qualms were that the last drumstick I ate tasted a little burnt and the Golden Monkey tasted slightly old. All in all, this is some incredible fried chicken and a great value.
The chicken, obviously!
Bonchon: 1015 Half St. SE, Washington, DC 20003
Closest Metro: Navy Yard