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Posted on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 : 5:06 a.m.

Seoul Street offers tasty Korean-style fried chicken

By Julie Halpert

Owner Reggie Kim says he, his sister and four friends who opened Seoul Street enjoyed Korean-style fried chicken when they would visit New York City.

"We would come back to Ann Arbor and we'd always be craving it," he says. Now, Seoul Street offers it in Ann Arbor, along with mandoo, Korean dumplings made fresh on site.

Seoul Street, which opened June 10 in the newer plaza on Plymouth, down the street from the Courtyard shops, offers a limited menu of traditional Korean food, including bibimbop, kimchee fried rice and kimbop rolls.

It's housed in a dark, contemporary-looking space, with sparkling tile and slender, long light fixtures. There are only three long tables and counters here, so unless you want to share a table, stand around waiting or sit outside, weather permitting, it's best to plan on carrying out.

I advise heading directly to that mouth-watering fried chicken. The restaurant offers wings, drums, thighs and boneless strips. The chicken is prepared fresh with every order and fried twice, once to drain the fat. The process pays off in chicken that's moist, while still flavorful and not at all greasy.


Seoul Street
1771 Plymouth Road, Suite 101

  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight.

  • Plastic: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover.

  • Liquor: No.

  • Prices: Inexpensive. Four pieces of chicken thighs are $8.50; rolls and fried rice are in the $3 to $6 range.

  • Value: very good.

  • Noise level: Moderate.

  • Wheelchair access: Yes.

We tried all the varieties, and I preferred the wings, which I ordered with the slightly sweet, soy garlic sauce. They were full of meat and had a thick, crusty batter. Boneless strips, which we got with delectable hot and spicy sauce — made up of hot peppers, Korean spices and fruit juices — were standouts as well. I enjoyed the chicken drumsticks too, but thought they were slightly drier than the other varieties.

Despite the fact that it was fried, the chicken didn't leave me with that overly full feeling that I often experience with deep-fried chicken.

The rest of the food we tried didn't measure up to that great fried chicken. The menu indicates the food is "bold," but everything we ordered was bland. The bibimbop didn't come with a sauce, and though the spinach and carrots were fresh, the ingredients were just piled in a bowl, with no seasonings.

The kimchee fried rice was dry and sprinkled with overcooked chicken. Though it's described as hot, spicy and satisfying, it had none of these qualities. We also sampled the kimbop rolls, which are similar to sushi. It was tough to decipher the bulgogi (beef) in one of the rolls, and that roll tasted virtually identical to the veggie and egg.

The mandoo, similar to a gyoza, was fine, and had a crispy exterior and decent sauce. Duk-bok-ki featured spongy noodles that tasted like the tapioca in bubble tea, along with overcooked tofu.

Generally the servers were pleasant and helpful, though the server on our second visit didn't seem particularly familiar with the Korean cuisine and was stumped by some of our questions about the ingredients. Food was delivered promptly, in ample portions.

If it's first-rate fried chicken you're after, Seoul Street is worth a stop.

Julie Halpert reviews restaurants for



Mon, Oct 3, 2011 : 4:25 a.m.

Many thanks for the kind review -- we're very happy you stopped in and happy you're a huge fan of Seoul Street Korean fried chicken. And we'll certainly take your notes on the bibimbop and kimchee fried rice and continue work to work to improve them, and make them as bold and authentic as we can. Overall -- it's been a lot of work to get our restaurant started, but we know the work is only starting -- thanks again for coming in and enjoying the Korean fried chicken. As for our new consumers -- thanks also for the kind notes and suggestions! @DBH -- we appreciate your feedback, and wanted to certainly let you know that the early restaurant opening issues were addressed immediately. We'd be happy to have you out to try some Korean fried chicken as well. @Jessica -- thanks so much for the support, and for traveling out of your way! @Ron -- we appreciate the healthy portions as well. @Vivienne -- we definitely owe you a pickled radish, our apologies for missing it in your order -- let us know the next time you're in and we'll make sure you have extra added to your order. Thanks for your support and for trying us out!

Vivienne Armentrout

Fri, Sep 30, 2011 : 1:03 a.m.

Chicken was ok, though I wasn't entranced. The mandoo were tasty. The kimbop will never be ordered again. My main complaint was that the pickled radish that was supposed to come with the chicken was omitted. I hate it when restaurants don't fill the entire order. Not much you can do once you get it home.


Thu, Sep 29, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

I have a list of Ann Arbor Korean restaurants to check out, so I'll put this one on it. It may not be for a while, seeing that there's 473 of them in town already and new ones opening every week.

Ron Granger

Thu, Sep 29, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

I love the chicken at this place... And I admit that I have trouble getting to the other menu items, which I'm sure I'll like. Jessica, stop the crazy talk; there is no such thing as portions being way too huge.


Thu, Sep 29, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

You beat me to it Ron!

Ron Granger

Thu, Sep 29, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

Correction: I now recall that the way they do fries is kinda odd. And for single person orders, giant fries are not a viable option... but I rarely get fries.

Jessica Webster

Thu, Sep 29, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

I am in love with Seoul Street fried chicken, and am more than willing to drive all the way across town to get take out. We also love the kimbop, and though the portions are way too huge, the french fries are pretty awesome too.


Thu, Sep 29, 2011 : 9:57 a.m.

At their health inspection on July 7, 2011, they had 4 violations, half of which were critical. The natures of the critical violations (holding cooked food at room temperature, evidence that they were not sanitizing used cookware) seem rather serious to me. Perhaps they had no experience in running a restaurant prior to Seoul Street (the story mentions nothing in this regard). If they haven't done so by now, attending a course in food safety at Washtenaw Community College or elsewhere would be a good idea, or simply reading the rules and regulations governing the restaurant business. Restaurateurs should not be receiving their training in food safety on the fly. A note to restaurant reviewers on In the future, in your reviews please consider at least a brief note on the health department's inspection reports of the restaurant.


Tue, Oct 4, 2011 : 12:13 p.m.

Most of us have little interest in what the health department thinks of an establishment, unless the violations are of such an egregious nature as to mandate the establishment's closure. Health departments, as do many government safety/regulatory agencies, operate according to an "ideal" set of standards that often have a disconnect to the practical world of restaurant operations. Most restaurants will serve and operate at or above acceptable levels of sanitation because it is in their own interest as a continuing operation to do so. If you're hypersensitive to the idea of unsanitary food preparation, I suggest you only eat at home.