|Itaewon Charcoal BBQ Chicken|
Itaewon Charcoal Chicken has been in business since 1983 because their classic, charcoal grilled chicken is timeless. It takes me back to outdoor barbecues I would have with my family after spending the day swimming and playing beachball volleyball in the pool. I think this place takes Korean people back as well, for before there was fried chicken, there was simple, charcoal grilled, chicken.
Ok, I have to admit that it doesn’t look like much- actually it looks like the place will cave in on itself. You’ll often see the cook tediously grilling chicken on the grill and sometimes using a hairdryer. Yes, if you have been down to the Gyeonidan area just past Taco Taco Chili Chili, I know that you have seen this place. So, why the hairdryer you might ask?
That was the first question that asked the cook when I decided to take the plunge and venture inside.
“To get the coals hot,” he answered.
It was a simple and logical answer and of course that was what he was doing! He wasn’t cooking the chicken by hairdryer.
Inside, often the front room is full, but there are 3 rooms in the back where there is plenty of seating.
My friends and I ordered the “ban ban set-” the half spicy and the half plain. We ordered a few beers with this.
The chicken when it came out was moist inside with a smoky charcoal accent. The outside had a light char from the grill as well. The way the restaurant cuts the chicken makes it easy to eat. The spicy chicken was moist and flavored throughout like tandoori chicken. Of the two, I preferred the simple plain one with a bit of salt, because you can taste what chicken should taste like. Chicken is not naturally honey mustard or spicy and sweet or curry flavored. Real chicken tastes good.
I recommend you head in. A bit of warning though, they don’t speak much English, but they are very friendly. Delivery and takeout are also available
Itaewon Charcoal BBQ Chicken
Cost: 12,000 a person
Directions: Go out Noksapyeong (line 9) exit 2 walk straight. Go right and through the underground walkway and make a right.