Kkanbu, Seoul’s most popular chicken and beer restaurant, brought its extensive selection of chicken flavors to the Philippines as it opened its 177th branch – and the first outside of South Korea – in Solaire Resort Entertainment City.
The only thing absent on the menu is rice – a reflection of the “chimaek” culture of Koreans who, after eating dinner, go to chicken-and-beer restaurants for a quick snack and drink before calling it a day.
“Kkanbu actually means good old friend. So in a way the meaning of the restaurant has come true – it has become a place where friends or comrades can get together and enjoy comfort food. It has become one of the most loved chicken brands in Korea,” said Amy Sung, Group Leader of Kkanbu, in an interview during the opening of its branch at The Shoppes area of Solaire.
“The chicken-and-beer concept is soul food in Korea and we think Filipinos will like it, too,” she added.
The partnership with Solaire, Sung said, was more than a year in the making.
“We were searching for a place to open our latest branch. We wanted a partner who can keep the quality of our food,” she said.
While the chicken is sourced locally, all the sauces and powders are imported from Korea, Sung said.
“Our marination and brining is far different from other brands. Keeping our authentic flavors is very important,” she added.
At Kkanbu, customers can opt to order chopped chicken (whole or half), wings and sticks, or as chicken tenders.
A bold flavor to try is the Ho-tteok Boneless Chicken – sweet and juicy chicken tenders paired with rice cake or tteok-bokki, with Korean hotteok or brown sugar sauce and topped with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Those who are looking for the comfort of the familiar may order the Garlic Soy Chicken or the original Fried Chicken served with sesame salt, sweet and chili sauce, pickled radish, and pickled cucumbers.
The more adventurous ones may opt for the Bbasak Curry-ne Chicken made with crunchy curry-flavored coconut flakes or the Basakan Six-pack Chicken made with a secret batter.
Non-chicken items on the menu include a savory soup with tteok-bokki and fish cakes, cheese balls stuffed with soft mozzarella, and Caesar salad.
Sam-gye-tang, a traditional Korean soup consisting of an entire spring chicken stuffed with ginseng, chestnut, garlic and glutinous rice, is also available for those looking for a healthier alternative.
Down all these with Korean beer, or the hotel exclusive Solaire Lager as well as Engkanto Hive Honey Ale, San Miguel, Heineken, and Stella Artois.
Whisky and single malt and Korean liquors, including soju and black raspberry wine are also available to complete one’s chimaek experience.