Monday, November 28, 2011

Korean Fried Chicken At Tian Has Brought The Crunch -- And The Spice -- To Ellicott City

The Korean fried chicken at Tian Chinese Cuisine brings a unique crunch and some serious heat if you're looking for that high-cholesterol, high-flavor treat that you can't make at home.

Tian now offers chicken from a Mad for Chicken franchise inside the Ellicott City restaurant known before for its Korean-Chinese menu and especially for the house-made noodles.

The crunch comes from the Mad for Chicken coating that has a unique crispness.  It's a thin, almost-brittle layer over moist chicken underneath.  The meat isn't particularly spicy, but the glaze on the outside delivers all the flavor that you'd want -- salty/sweet for the regular and mouth-numbing for the spicy.

Seriously, the spice was almost too much for me, and Mrs. HowChow happily traded hot pieces for the regular when we ordered a mixed set.

The magic of Korean fried chicken is that the glaze delivers that flavor without soaking down the crisp coating.  It's a delicious dinner, definitely worth a drive to the Lotte shopping center on Rte 40 and definitely a worthy alternative to Chick 'n Friends in Columbia or Harvest Fried Chicken in Woodbine.

My advice is that two people split an order of chicken and an order of the black beans with noodles -- jjajangmyun or #1 on Tian's menu.  Personally, I'd order the wings or white meat.  The ratio of crunch to meat was perfect in the wings.

If you want more on Korean fried chicken, start with Henry Hong's review of a Virginia Bon Chon franchise.  Such the right description that I link often for fear that I'm unwittingly plagiarizing Hong's language.


EastCoastMatt said...

I may be mistaken, but are the noodles still house-made? I don't hear the thumping of the noodles anymore while dining and the noodles seem pretty uniform in thickness. Maybe they may pre-make a whole bunch and that's why I don't hear it?

HowChow said...

@EastCoastMatt -- They said that they were making them when we there last time. I didn't hear thumping. But we wanted to order a takeout noodles to bring to work as lunch the next day, and the waitress discouraged us. She said they make the noodles there, and the noodles are fragile enough that they wouldn't be good the next day. Probably worth investigating!