When it comes to Korean food, I can count on my hands the amount of times I’ve had it. When I got invited in to Hell’s Chicken on 10th Ave and 45th Street, I thought I’d give it a try – but of course, knew I was going to have to ask the waiter to guide me through the menu.
Hell’s Chicken, named after the neighborhood, not the level of spice, looks like a little store front from the outside, but I was surprised to see a large bar when I walked in, and several tables in the back – it was a long and narrow space. My friend James and I quickly were seated in the back, and I quickly took note that Happy Hour goes from 4-7, with beers and select wines at $5, and mixed well drinks for $6. My favorite beer was on the menu – an Allagash White – and I enjoyed it as I learned what Hell’s Chicken recommended that we order.
While it wasn’t suggested, I was in the mood for an egg roll so quickly ordered that as an appetizer. It was then suggested I give their Korean fried chicken a try. A large order ($22) was perfect for two people, with a mix of 8 wings and 6 drumsticks. I was able to get two sauces, and chose Hell’s sauce and Spicy Soy Garlic.
The egg rolls came out first, and for $7, we received a plate of three. It was delicious but the real show stopper for me was the chicken. The chicken was the perfect fried chicken – it was crispy and the pieces were huge. The tomato based Hell’s sauce was mild and had a sweeter flavor, and I would alternate between a piece of chicken in Hell’s sauce, followed by the Spicy Soy Garlic. I like spice, so I found it to be the perfect amount of spice. Next time, I’d love to try the Hell’s spicy, and if you are a ginger fan, there is even a Spicy Soy Ginger sauce. The chicken was so delicious, I found myself trying to slyly ask my friend for the last piece (thank you, James, for giving in). For those of you who are gluten-free or watching your gluten intake, the best part is this fried chicken is gluten-free! This chicken is cooked in rice flour and canola oil, and is fried for a longer time, with sauces slathered on post-frying – which is why this was so much more amazing than any other Korean fried chicken I’ve tried (the few times that I’ve tried it!).
And then there was the Dolsot Bibimbap ($16), or mixed veggies and rice in a hot stone bowl. This dish was brought out to us, I had no idea what it was, and immediately was scared. On top was strips of raw beef, and a raw egg. I’m not a super adventurous eater, and I hadn’t eaten raw beef since I accidentally misheard the word gazpacho and instead agreed to order carpaccio. Don’t worry, I was told. “We’ll mix it up, and it’ll get cooked within the hot stone bowl.”
And boy, it did. The meat was cooked, no trace of the egg, and the best part? Crunchy bits of rice that I couldn’t get enough of. Here I was, so clueless about what to order, so scared of a dish, and my friend and I – who normally meet over burgers – kept repeating over and over “this is so good.”
When I’m near the theater district, I always have a few restaurants I like to hit up before a show or after a show. Now I’ll be venturing over to 10th to Hell’s Chicken for my fried chicken and bibimbap.
Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary meal in exchange for this review. But stories of being scared when the bibimbap arrived is all true. 🙂