I’ve only been to Kko Kko, Home of Seoul chicken, once at its flagship branch in Kapitolyo—its home base—and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. Everything I tried was delicious, and as I write this, I’m already planning when I can indulge in its amazing chicken dishes again.
Grace Lee and her mother, Song Soon Ill, with the Kko Kko mascot, Coco
Kko Kko is a homegrown brand conceptualized by Korean TV personality Grace Lee and her mother, Song Soon Ill. The mother-daughter tandem’s love of food and experimenting in the kitchen is reflected on their restaurant’s contemporary take on authentic Korean cuisine. Song Soon Ill’s traditional recipes and Grace’s knowledge of new flavor combinations—a lot of which come from her frequent trips to Seoul—make Kko Kko a unique restaurant chain with a lot to offer.
Fried chicken is very popular in South Korea. They brought it to the next level by introducing the double-fry method, a cooking method that results in crispier chicken skin, juicier and more flavorful meat with less grease. Grace created Kko Kko with the goal to share Korea’s culture to Filipinos through good food. It is the only Korean fast food chain in the Philippines that serves a variety of well curated dishes that include Dosirak or bento meals, street food, and their famous Korean fried chicken. It’s pegged as a typical chicken and beer joint—something you’ll find all over Korea, where people drink and enjoy their favorite pulutan: chicken.
I tried the Yang Nyum chicken (P368 for half, P598 for whole), crispy fried chicken tossed in a sauce of your choice: Sweet chili, Classic Soy, and Oh-My-Garlic. It’s the classic Korean chicken, yet it’s different from all the typical Korean chicken you’ve already tried. I liked all flavors, and enjoyed the bold taste of the soy and garlic with sesame. All are tasty without overwhelming the palate, as the flavor is well-balanced.
My favorite dish from Kko Kko is the Snow chicken popcorn (P298 for half, P488 for whole), boneless chicken thigh tossed in special powder imported from Korea, with a choice of cheese or Fire chili. The powder is so fine, hence they called it snow. I only tried the cheese (the Fire chili is supposedly so spicy, you’ll cry, haha), which has a hint of sweetness; it kinda reminds me of a Japanese snack I loved as a kid. As their head chef described it, imagine your favorite flavored fries (I’m already thinking of Potato Corner’s Cheese fries), but instead of potatoes, it’s powder-tossed tender chicken, and now I’ve got my perfect meal! It’s more satisfying than your regular popcorn or fries, that’s for sure. Less carbs, more filling—I can actually have this for lunch or dinner and be a happy camper. It’s so delicious, I can’t get enough of it!
Kko Kko is also known for its chicken cheese fondue (P658 for half, P988 for whole) made of melted cheese (available in original, mustard garlic, or spicy cheese) in a bread bowl, served with spicy French fries, homemade onion rings, and boneless chicken chunks tossed in Yang Nyum sauce of your choice. Cheese dishes have reportedly become so big in Korea, so they had to add something super cheesy on the menu. It’s definitely the highlight of the restaurant and what everyone comes to Instagram. It’s sulit, too, since it’s good for sharing among a big group.
Just look at how gooey the cheese fondue is!
I tried the chicken with Sweet chili sauce, which has mild heat, and it’s good on its own, but it also went well with the mild Original cheese, made of cheddar and mozzarella. The fries have a dusting of salt and pepper, and you can have the flavor changed. The onion rings are large, crispy, and delicious. Dip everything all the way through! Then later have the bread bowl cut up into pieces so you can enjoy what’s left of the cheese on it!
My second favorite in Kko Kko’s menu is their Dosirak bento meals, which still uses the original bento box used in Korea made of tin and nickel—they’re supposedly the first to introduce it here in Manila. It reportedly became a fad again after it was featured in a Koreanovela. It’s served with sweet dilis (anchovies), cooked kimchi, rice, and a sunny side up egg. You can choose from three types of protein: the Galbi Jim (Beef Rib Stew, P238), Dakdori Tang (Spicy chicken stew, P198), and Daeji Bulgogi (Stir-fried Spicy Marinated Pork, P208). Shake the tin box as hard as you can, so everything gets mixed, including the spicy sesame sauce it comes with—sort of like a bibimbap—in the same way it gets mixed while people carry their lunch boxes around in Korea. I liked all three versions, as all are spicy, savory, and with a hint of sweetness, but I especially enjoyed their saucy take on the bulgogi.
The flagship branch, Kko Kko Home at 67 West Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig is where Grace’s mom experiments with food, whipping up new dishes and testing it before rolling it out to other Kko Kko branches, which they are thinking of expanding.
Kko Kko has other branches in the following:
G/F Market! Market! McKinley Parkway, Taguig City
Sapphire Bloc, Garnet Road, San Antonio, Pasig City
2/F Paseo Center, 8757 Paseo de Roxas, Salcedo Village, Makati City