Gyeyeolsa chicken (계열사) and Sai chicken (사이치킨) are supposedly 2 of the 3 best fried chicken restaurants in all of Seoul. They are both known for serving more traditional style Korean fried chicken, as opposed to the sometimes saucy and sweet Korean fried chicken. About 2 weeks ago, my boyfriend and my friend went to try Gyeyeolsa fried chicken off the recommendation of a food review. When we got there, we were immediately ushered downstairs. A good amount of people were eating there (mostly older Koreans), but there was still enough seating. We ordered what they were famous for, the fried chicken for 20,000. It came out after about 8 minutes piping hot with a side of a special sauce. After letting it cool a tad, we tried it, and boy was this the best fried chicken in Korea we have ever had! Each bite has some crispy breading, and then a load of delicious juicy chicken on the bone. What I liked but also found different about Gyeyeolsa fried chicken, is that they fry the whole chicken, so you get parts from the chicken that you normally wouldn't eat in America. It was all delicious, and the sweet but spicy sauce on the side was also amazing. The fries were big, chunky potato wedges and also went well with the sauce. The chicken and fry plate was plenty for 2 people, but split between 3 people it might be a little small, so we ordered 2 between 3 people (we are big eaters).
The next week, our other Korean friend wanted to try this famous Buam dong chicken as well, so we went back to the area. This time, we decided to try Sai chicken. While the atmosphere was more pleasant at Sai chicken, we were disappointed. We ordered the boneless chicken (with an extra portion of chicken as well) along with the sprout salad. When the chicken came out, we were immediately saddened by how small the portions were. Additionally, the boneless fried chicken was different than normal boneless fried chicken in Korea. This boneless fried chicken was basically small cut up strips, instead of big meaty chunks. The sprout salad was good, but the chicken came out not hot at all. The flavor was okay, but was not hot and even though we had ordered an extra portion of chicken it was such a small meal, and we left still feeling hungry. After eating there we decided to go back to Gyeyeolsa fried chicken because we knew it was really good. We ordered the same fried chicken again, and again it was delicious and amazing. Our Korean friend, a chicken snob, also claimed it was the best fried chicken she's had in Seoul. Maybe the chicken at Sai would have been better if we had ordered the regular fried chicken and it had been hot, but after that we decided we won't go back there knowing that there is Gyeyeolsa serving incredible fried chicken that we love just right next door. Have you guys had better experience at Sai? Let me know with some comments below! I highly recommend you go try the fried chicken at Gyeyeolsa. You won't regret it :)
Directions: From Gyeongbokgung, take the 7022 or the 7016 bus to Buam Dong. From around Sookmyung womens university, take the 1711 or the 7016 bus (The bus also stops at places like City hall along the way). See the map above for details! Sai and Gyeyeolsa are literally 3 doors down from each other. Enjoy :)
We're just a couple addicted to great food. We love Anthony Bourdain!