When thinking of the best chicken wings, you might not instantly think of Korean chicken. While Korean chicken is a spin on American fried chicken, which first made an appearance on the Asian peninsula during the Korean War (thanks to American servicemen preparing the dish), the style has taken off here in the States. One chain restaurant in particular recently was named the “Best Wings” in Dallas. And now, the chicken wings are coming here to Tucson, where not one, but three new restaurants are in the works.
Bonchon, which loosely translates from Korean as “my hometown,” will make its initial appearance in Tucson in the coming months. There currently is one location up north in Tempe, with the second nearest restaurant in Las Vegas, but thankfully you won’t need to drive that far to try out the award-winning wings.
The restaurant first hatched in Busan, South Korea, back in 2002. By 2006, the chain had made the jump to the States, opening its first location in New York City. Combining the familiar texture of fried chicken with many of the signature spices and flavors of Korea, the Korean fried chicken instantly took off in NYC and spread out from there.
All chicken wings at Bonchon are hand-battered and then double deep-fried for the ultimate in crunch. From there, the wings are hand brushed with signature sauces, which include soy garlic, spicy, and half and half.
When ordering, you can select exactly the part of the chicken you want. Prefer all wings? Sure thing. Want nothing but drumsticks or strips? That can be arranged. Maybe you’re a boneless fan? Bonchon has that too. This way, you won’t end up with pieces you don’t like and only pieces you love.
Along with the award-winning fried chicken wings, there are several starters, which include potstickers, shrimp shumai (steamed or fried shrimp dumplings drizzled with a honey dijon dressing), Takoyaki (fried octopus dumplings, topped with a Japanese mayonnaise, katsu sauce, and bonito flakes), and Bulgogi Fries (USDA certified marinated beef piled on top of seasoned fries, topped with mozzarella cheese, spicy mayo, and chopped green onions).
There are also all kinds of main dishes, like a Udon noodle soup, sesame ginger salad, and bonchon wrap, plus sides like seasoned fries, onion rings, kimchi, Korean donuts, and Mochi.
There is no exact date or location as to when Bonchon will open here in Tucson, but the franchising deal has been signed and there is a specific time limit for when restaurants need to open, so expect to see the first of three restaurants opening in the coming months.