Seoul Street offers tasty Korean-style fried chicken
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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.
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 AnnArbor.com.