In the immortal words of comedy legend Dave Chappelle, “if you don’t like chicken…there is something wrong with you!”
I feel quietly confident that had he visited Adelaide’s newest casual eatery Ban Ban, recently opened to eager hordes of Adelaidians on the Western end of Franklin Street, he’d happily alter his quote to reference fried chicken.
It’s KFC of a different variety than we’re used to – Korean Fried Chicken, brought to you by previous St Louis owners Darren Song and Ernest Koong.
Despite being a Wednesday night, the line-up is all the way to the door. With ultra-friendly staff, an open, diner-style feel, and simplistic but delicious menu to die for, it’s not hard to understand its popularity.
The side players include traditional Korean dishes, featuring favourites Kim Chi pancakes, Gochujang Mayonnaise Wings, a Cheesy Corn Casserole and Umami Fries. While all delectably delightful in their own right, there was no doubting what the punters had braved the line for.
The main event - the Fried Chicken, available in Original, Sweet and Spicy, Soy and Garlic, or their top Secret Sauce, does not disappoint. In honour of their titled establishment, I ordered the chicken ban-ban, Korean for half and half. Comparing the Original and Sweet and Spicy marinades, it is incredible that the satisfying crunch is not compromised on either. It’s a completely different eating experience too, with Ban Ban frying and serving the entire chicken into fourteen crunch-tastic, succulent pieces.
The winning combination of fried chicken and beer, long established in Korea, is finally making its way to our shores, and judging by the crowds, it is more than welcome here.
Check out the full menu on their website, and make sure you book your table ahead.