K-Pop star is brand's ambassador
By Chin-Chin Chan Chiu
Korean pop star Lee Min Ho flew into the country very recently to open Korean chicken diner Kyochon’s third store at the Theater Mall in Greenhills. The 30-minute program ended with a bang as fireworks lighted the night sky.
With fresh food made of natural domestically-grown farm products, coupled with 20 years of know-how, using healthy oil exclusively for deep frying, Korea’s No. 1 chicken restaurant is definitely a must-try. Proffering naturally-aged meat that’s low in sodium, with neither glacial acetic acid nor sodium saccharin, diners get to eat the pure goodness of poultry as it should be.
“We make three promises. First, we won’t make fast food. Each dish has a time for preparation, storage temperature and cooking. There are no shortcuts. Second, we only use what’s natural and organic. And third, we only make healthy chicken with honesty. But now it’s time to fulfill a promise we made last year and that is to let diners of Kyochon meet one of the brand’s biggest fan, Lee Minho himself,” enthused marketing manager Chanky Tiangco.
Starting in 1991, with humble beginnings occupying a floor space of approximately 30 square meters in size, Kyochon today owns almost a thousand stores in Korea alone. What once was a lone outlet in the province of Guni has grown into a giant global brand.
“We cook food only when it’s ordered using fresh, not frozen, chicken. Kyo-chon literally means “start in town.” With this pioneering perspective, Kyochon started the double fry style of cooking with oil really meant for deep frying. The first frying takes water out of the food. The second frying takes the oil out from it,” informed Chanky.
Kyochon has become a nationwide everyday favorite in the Land of the Morning Calm. Double-frying and piece-by-piece sauce coating are time-consuming but these are the necessary processes for the brand’s nutritious chicken.
“Because we value quality ingredients and customers’ health the most, we only use domestically-grown, natural ingredients. Our chicken contains the lowest amount of sodium among the industry players, by naturally-aged meat without curing.
“Kyochon’s menu came to perfection by the combination of good ingredients grown by the wind, sunlight and soil, then preserved by state-of-the-art facilities, together with our chicken specialists’ research and passion,” Chanky shared.
There are four chicken dishes to choose from: the Soonsal (strips/fillet) series, the spicy Red series that’s glazed with original hot sauce from Korea’s hottest red peppers; the sweet and crunchy Honey series that’s marinated for 24 hours in special seasoning then fried to perfection and coated with natural honey sauce; and my favorite Original recipe series that’s simply coated in an exclusive blend of soy sauce and garlic. Lee Minho’s favorite is the honey-coated option.
Minho’s breakthrough success came in 2009 with the Korean version of Boys Over Flowers as Gu Jun-pyo. The role won him several awards, including the Best New Actor in the television category at the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards, and made him a household name in the Philippines. He further cemented his status as the leading man of the highly-successful production, City Hunter and the Heirs, which garnered for him another nomination for Most Popular Actor at the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards ceremonies.
He has visited the Philippines twice before: first, to promote a local apparel brand; and then for an Asian tour to promote his first album.
Eco-friendly is the basic interior concept of every food outlet. Every Kyochon restaurant is built with natural materials, providing comfortable ambiance to relax and feel Nature even in the heart of cosmopolitan cities. Other must-tries are the authentically-spiced Kimchi Rice and the healthful bowl of Green salad with grilled chicken strips. For the latter, you may opt for the mandarin orange or blueberry dressing.
Minho nabbed his first cinematic lead role as an impoverished orphan-turned-mobster in the film Gangnam Blues, a noir action film set in the ‘70s depicting the tumultuous history of real estate development behind Seoul’s now famous fashion district. The said movie is slated to hit Philippine cinemas on March 4th.
Kyochon Greenhills is located at the Theater Mall façade. You may also visit the two other Metro Manila stores located at the ground floor of SM Megamall Bldg. B and at the ground level of SM Fairview. The brand will soon open another branch at the Citywalk in Eastwood City. Outside of Korea, its other outlets are found in mainland China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and the US. For more information, simply visit the company Web site, www.kyochon.com.