Trendiness germinates itself in odd and peculiar ways in Bangkok. And right now, trendiness is germinating itself in the form of fried chicken.
It seemed like we couldn’t go a day without someone telling us, tweeting us, or Facebook’ing us about BonChon on Thong Lor. So, as a true purveyor and disseminator of Bangkok trendiness, KohSpot decided to grub on some fried chicken with Bodyslam’s lead singer, Athiwara “Toon” Khongmalai, at BonChon in attempts to understand the hype.*
BonChon Chicken is a fried chicken chain restaurant that just recently opened at the beautifully and minimalist designed Seenspace on Thong Lor Soi 13, a complex that has only completed a few months back. Its guest list throughout its soft opening has included just about every A, B and C list celebrity in Thailand.
If your like us, when we first heard about a chain chicken restaurant called BonChon, we immediately thought – fast food. Not a good association. Thankfully, BonChon is far from it with sleek, modern, industrial decor and pitch-perfect tunes of the Vampire Weekend and Band of Horses variety to compliments its tasty food. Its a laid back atmosphere, always packed, with lots of laughter and smiling conversations, assisted by the wondrous powers of Soju.
Most marketers know that its better to be the best at something small than be recognized as mediocre for a large smattering of undertakings. BonChon takes the former to heart. Confidently standing behind its all fried-chicken menu for its mains, knowing they fry one mean bird, this is a place where you won’t see consumer demand dictating their menu in the future. Its chicken or bust.
BonChon offers three platter sizes (150, 230 and 380 baht) of wings, drumsticks or boneless pieces in either soygarlic or spicy sauce. The large allows either 18 wings, nine drumsticks, or a mix of four drumsticks and 10 wings. The Korean method is to double-fry the pieces, first in low heat then later at a high temperature to enrobe tender meat in a skin shell. The medium and large size platters come with choices of sides ranging from kimchee coleslaw to sticky rice.
Open only two months, BonChon is packed almost every night. They are still pegging this time as their “soft opening” and it shows. They’ve been known to run-out of half their menu early in the night. Not a good thing if your menu is comprised of chicken, and well…chicken. Also not a good thing if Thailand’s biggest rock-star is in the house. Nevertheless, the management are clearly trying very hard to make BonChon a success and the customer service is impeccable despite their shortcomings on food inventory management.
Asked how they got so popular so swiftly, we were informed about their viral marketing campaign. Tweet or update your Status on Facebook with mention of BonChon from your phone to get 10% off your bill. Pretty clever, BonChon.
*Don’t believe us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the picture
Location: Second floor of Seenspace Thong Lor Soi 13, about 100 meters down the soi
Mass transit: BTS Thong Lor
Hours: 11 am-11 pm Sunday to Thursday, 11 am-midnight Friday to Saturday