Friends, we have a new obsession: CM Chicken.
Choong Man Chicken is a Korean fried chicken chain with locations all over the country that arrived in Columbus last October. It set up shop in the former Borders plaza on the northeast corner of Kenny and Henderson Roads.
Beth and I heard tell of it from friends, and we finally visited a couple months ago… and have been back several times since. I am always, always in the mood for fried chicken, but CM is the very definition of crave-able.
The storefront is long and narrow, with lots of natural light from the front windows. TVs on the wall show Korean cooking shows and K-pop videos. The service we’ve experienced has all been quick and friendly.
CM Chicken offers three different preparations for its fried chicken: original, snow, and tikkudak.
- Original is just what it sounds like: classic fried chicken. It comes in tenders or drums, half or whole chickens.
- Snow offers much the same but is topped with sliced onions and one of their house sauces.
- Tikkudak gets the double treatment, first fried and then baked. This is supposed to make it extra crispy, although we haven’t noticed a dramatic difference from the original.
And then there’s a choice of sauces:
- Garlic soy
- Garlic spicy
- Red hot pepper
- Plus a few other specialties
At this point we’ve tried all the sauces and preparations except for the snow. I think the heaping pile of onions just doesn’t have a draw for us. But everything we’ve tasted has been an absolute winner. The chicken is consistently crispy and well-seasoned, while juicy and tender inside. Really, everything you could ask for in fried chicken.
Example one: the red hot pepper tikkudak. Great crunch to it, plenty of pockets to catch the sauce in those breaded hills and valleys. And the red hot pepper packs a serious kick without sacrificing flavor. It’s just a delightful fiery heat that builds. You have to stop eating, but then you can’t resist going back to it.
The garlic spicy (ordered in original style) offers a scaled down heat that still builds pleasantly.
This has proven to be one of our favorite flavors.
But don’t miss the garlic soy. Still a wonderful flavor to it without the attendant heat.
On our most recent visit I tasted the curry and really loved that. It’s a milder, more sweet curry that still works very well with the tender meat and crispy breading. Great option if you have some in your party who’s heat-averse.
We’ve mainly gone there for lunch and have appreciated CM Chicken’s lunch special: $8.99 for a trio of original chicken flavors, plus a side (the fries are very nice), slaw, and a drink. We often leave with leftovers.
And if you get it to go, you’ll get these adorable orange and white boxes.
If the photos haven’t convinced you by now, I don’t know what else to say. Is CM Chicken the best fried chicken we’ve ever had? Certainly not. But is it consistently prepared, wonderfully seasoned, and the type of food you’re eager to eat again and again? Absolutely yes.
1132 W. Henderson Rd.
Columbus, OH 43220