We're not easing into Return of the Eating, we're getting right down to business. Tonight we went to the Noodle Bar and enjoyed their fried chicken dinner, their down-the-street response to the Ssam Bar's absolutely merciless Bo Ssam. This dinner was the most difficult reservation I've ever secured. Of the five times I've tried to get Ko reservations, I've succeeded 4 times (but I've only used one). I was clicking on the fried chicken website every morning for a few weeks before I got tonight's spot about a month ago.
We started the meal off with a few small plates, here's the chili pesto cauliflower with little fishes, back on the menu and I couldn't be happier.
Something new, fingerling potatoes with bacon and a poached egg and a bit of some sort of broth. Very delicious, we wished for spoons to finish this one off.
And the Noodle Bar spicy roasted rice cakes, so good.
Then the pieces of our main course began to arrive: here's the Basket of Plenty, filled to overflowing with lettuce, a variety of herbs, peppers, radishes, and carrots.
And our four sauces: jalepeño-garlic (so good, definitely the best), hoisin, ginger scallion (like I made for my noodles yesterday) and bibim.
And here's the chicken!
What you see here are two whole chickens, on the left, the Korean Style, thrice-fried in bibim sauce and on the right the Southern style ("American" as I called it) spiced with Old Bay and cayenne pepper.
The idea, I suppose, is to assemble the perfect collection of vegetables to go with your chicken and wrap it all up in a Mu Shu pancake.
These would be examples of proper chicken dinner wraps.
Some of my innovations: American chicken wrapped in Korean skin (please note the carefully selected bit of herb...I wasn't just throwing whatever chicken I saw together, I was thinking!)
Or a cone of American skin stuffed with Korean chicken and herbs (this mouthful was epic).
One last wrap innovation: Korean skin, American skin, Mu Shu pancake.
After much gorging (and we finished it ALL) this is what we had to show for ourselves (minus a few bones that never made it to the bowl):
For dessert: Angel food cake and strawberry lemonade softserve with cinammon toast crumbles.
Our brown paper wasteland.
But from the wreckage new life springs.
In conclusion: The chicken was very good, but even better, this is a superfun meal. Just nothing but chicken-induced laughter and levity all around the table. Definitely worth all the logging in and clicking. I encourage you to battle for a reservation of your own.
Additional Facts: The chicken dinner is $100 for up to 8 people, it was the perfect amount of chicken for us, it seems we each had around 3 pieces. You get unlimited replenishings of sauce, pancakes, and vegetables. I asked our server "What about the chicken?" (because I'm hilarious) he responded "You won't need more."
Here's a more polished review of the Fried Chicken Dinner that you may enjoy.