A few months a go I went to a pop up event for a new Nashville Style Hot Chicken, hosted by the team behind Manimal and Motor City. I don’t know much about Nashville, but I sure do love fried chicken so I was excited to check it out. I loved the food, and was thrilled to find out that they were opening a proper store within spitting distance of my new home.
The restaurant is located just up the street from Nori Table and the Gino’s Slice Shop. When I visited they hadn’t quite finished decorating yet, but I passed yesterday and they were hanging up their brand new shiny sign. The menu consists of a trio of chicken burgers, made with both breast and thigh meat, plus chicken on the bone and some tenders. You can then choose how hot you want your sauce. There are three levels of hotness: mild, hot and fire! I like a touch of heat without having my mouth feel like it is in hell so I was all about the level one, but heat fans should go for the two or three. You can also get your chicken naked if you don’t anything spicy.
There are three burgers on the menu The O.G (5,800), The Granpa (6,800), and The Classic (7,500) . I decided to get the latter two. The Granpa is a breaded and deep fried chicken thigh, topped with American cheese, horsey mayo (whatever that is), iceburg lettuce and tomato. I really loved this, the chicken was very juicy and the outside was uber crispy. I loved the addition of the cheese and found it very moreish. This is exactly the kind of burger you want after a night of drinking. The Classic is a deep fried chicken breast burger with special sauce, dill pickles, and creamy coleslaw. I decided to make this one a set for an extra 4,000. They have a soda dispenser, and you get your choice of side coleslaw, corn salad, or fries. No prizes for guessing that I went for the fries. The chicken burger was glorious, I think I have to give it the edge over the Granpa, as I loved the addition of the coleslaw and special sauce; plus I generally prefer the chicken breast meat over the leg.
I was really excited to try the actual chicken, as they were sold out before I got there at the last pop up. I ordered the Three Piece (7,500), and decided to go sans sauce on this one so I could take in the flavour of the breading. However I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed when it turned up. The pieces were minuscule, basically the same size as the Korean fried chicken pieces. I realise that chickens come on the small side here, but I was expecting a proper piece of chicken. You tend to get about 15-20 pieces from a Korean fried chicken joint for around 15,000, so I found this to be very over priced, although I think they have since increased the portion to include four pieces.
Overall I liked that Nashville Hot Chicken has brought something new to Itaewon. I loved the burgers, and think they were great value, filling and tasty, but the fried chicken needs to see a serious weight gain before I would consider ordering it again. They are still in their soft opening phase though so hope they will reconsider the portion size or lowering the price to make it better value.
Rocka Doodle is located at 449-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and exit using the lift next to the shop. Walk over the bridge and then take a right, follow the road around and you will see Gino’s Pizzeria just ahead on the corner above Nori Table. Take the left directly after Nori Table. Walk up this small hill and you will see Rocka Doodle o the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-798-3456 or check out their Instagram page. They are open Monday – Saturday 11:30am – 9:30pm.