Bonchon opens first south of the river

restaurant in Eagan

by Kara Hildreth

Sun Thisweek

Dakota County Tribune

The dream of one Korean chef has made its way from his hometown across the globe to a new Eagan restaurant.

Bonchon opened in April to large crowds craving the Asian fusion cuisine and crispy chicken at the carry out, dine-in casual restaurant at 1348 Town Centre Drive.

Restaurant manager Dennis Lyn says “Bonchon” is the Korean word for hometown, as the restaurant began in Busan, Korea, in 2002 when founder Jinduk Seo dreamed of sharing his favorite flavors with the world.

Lyn said Seo obsessively worked to perfect Bonchon’s signature sauces and fried chicken.

Raised in the heart of New York City, Seo recalls how he knew he had created a winning formula when New York police were dispatched to manage traffic around the new restaurant. Bonchon operates more than 100 restaurants globally with dozens of locations becoming increasingly popular across the United States in larger metropolitan cities. Bonchon owns restaurants in the Asian cuisine capitals of Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Customers have given Bonchon love in Minnesota for years, as it has five locations in Uptown Minneapolis, Dinky Town near the University of Minnesota campus, Mall of America and Maple Grove. A new Roseville Bonchon location is in the works.

Fans of Bonchon entrees rave about the fried chicken and spicy wings served in many varieties with mild to super spicy sauces in the Korean tradition, Lyn said.

“All the oil we use is pure vegetable oil, but the only thing is that Korean chicken, we don’t sear our chickens, but the chicken has to be fresh and not frozen, and all the chicken is fried with pure flour and then double fried to create the most, crispy skin,” Lyn said.

Touting a fusion of Asian flavors, the menu strives to serve a fine dining taste with a fast casual model. The Korean menu serves classics Kimchi, Korean tacos, pork buns, pot stickers and sides like veggie bibimbap and edamame, steamed soybeans sprinkled with salt. But the customer favorite remains the Korean fried chicken served with a choice of soy garlic or spicy sauces accompanied by homemade pickled radish or creamy coleslaw.

The Eagan restaurant offers plenty of dine-in space for customers and is ready to fulfill phone and online takeout and delivery orders.

As a Burnsville resident, Lyn said it has been fun for his team to welcome customers into this location that is the first south of the river restaurant for this franchise.

“In 2017, Food and Wine magazine said our chicken wings were the best in the United States,” Lyn said.

“I would say dining here would be a different experience, and I have a lot of new customers and look forward to welcoming more here at Bonchon,” Lyn said.

Bonchon in Eagan serves a diverse drink menu with selections of beer, wine, and Korean Saki wine.

Lyn said the restaurant will offer food samples for new customers.

The hand battered, double fried chicken with secret spices paired with signature sauces brings customers back who crave the crispy chicken, Lyn said.

“Our customers know us, and word of mouth has been great, and now they do not need to drive but can enjoy our food closer to home.”

Contact Kara Hildreth at kara.hildreth@apgecm.com.

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