*This post was written by The Style Gourmande and edited/formatted by The Lunch Belle. All photos were captured by The Style Gourmande.**
Restaurant: Hell's Chicken
- Cuisine: Korean, fried chicken
- Pricing: $-$$
- What's delicious: Chicken/wings
- Perfect for: Gluten free-friendly, beer & wings, neighborhood gem, foodies, 1x1 dining, casual
As a self-proclaimed 'fried chicken/wing enthusiast' who's been on her share of fried chicken-centric food crawls across Manhattan - and Korea, for that matter - I can confidently say that the absolute best version is right here in our own backyard: Hell’s Chicken is a Korean restaurant that, while offering a full range of traditional dishes, specializes in gluten-free fried chicken. Oh, and the name of the place has nothing to do with some wickedly-spicy wing batter or accompanying dipping sauce - Hell's Chicken just so happens to be located in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood! That's all. So then what's the story with gluten-free fried chicken, you ask? Well, initially, owner Sung Jin Min began serving two versions of the battered bird - one made with rice flour and the other with a traditional combo of rice and wheat flour. Ultimately, he decided to do away with the latter (rice/wheat flour) and solely batter his chicken with rice flour (thus gluten-free fried chicken). Plus, who isn't gluten-free these days?
Brined for twelve hours, Hell's Chicken's namesake item is fried-to-order and served one of two ways: Plain or enveloped with your choice of sauce (sweet, caramelized tomato or the signature "Hell's Rocks"). Obviously, I sampled both preparations! My favorite of the two? Sauced'up, of course.
In addition to the outstanding chicken, I ordered the Bibimbap, which was presented in a sizzling stone bowl and served alongside traditional accompaniments (kimchi, bean sprouts). Julienned carrot, aster, radish, bracken, squash, and bean sprouts were beautifully displayed atop warm rice and crowned with a raw egg yolk. Using my chopsticks, I stirred the ingredients together with a dollop of a spicy/sweet sauce that consisted of hot pepper paste, honey, and sesame oil. Similar to "tahdig," my favorite part of this dish was the crunchy rice crust that formed at the bottom of the hot stone bowl.
Next time someone asks me where to find the best fried chicken in town, I will unhesitatingly tell them to run - not walk - to Hell's Chicken. It's, quite literally, heaven in "Hell!"
Until we eat again,
The Style Gourmande for The Lunch Belle