The day that Tom and I got back from Georgia we met John and Jackie at a new restaurant, CM Chicken, USA. The restaurant is so new that it didn’t have its sign up yet. Tom and I weren’t sure that we were in the right place when we found it in the last shop of a strip mall. John and Jackie arrived shortly after we did, so we knew we were in the right spot.
CM Chicken, USA is a Korean fried chicken restaurant. The CM stands for the owner’s name, Choongman Park. He opened his first restaurant in Korea in 2009 and developed the recipe for this fried chicken in 2011. He now has over 50 of these restaurants in the US, with three in the Columbus area. Jackie said the other two locations are so popular that there is a line out the door every day. The one in Westerville hasn’t been discovered yet, because the four of us and one other family were the only ones there.
The only thing that distinguished the interior of CM Chicken was all the screens playing K-Pop music. It was the first time I had ever seen any K-Pop (Korean popular) music and it was fun to watch it in the background.
The menu was as unfamiliar as the music. It featured six flavors of chicken: fried chicken, garlic spicy chicken, garlic soy chicken, red hot pepper chicken, soy spring onion chicken, and mania lemon spring onion chicken. You could order chicken tenders, thighs, or wings in any of these flavors. In addition they had a variety of sides that were familiar such as fries and coleslaw. You could also get Tikkudak, which is fried and then oven grilled in the first four flavors. A different way to order the chicken was as a snow onion, which had a heap of onions on top and a sauce covering the onions and chicken.
Being fairly unadventurous with my food, I ordered the plain fried chicken tenders. Jackie got s snow onion, and Tom and John shared an order of the red pepper Tikkudak. We also got some curly fries and coleslaw to share.
The food came hot and fresh. We all shared in the sides and tried most of the entrees. My fried chicken was good but nothing special. John and Tom loved the Tikkudak. Tom said it was addictive and he is ready to eat it again anytime. Jackie’s snow onion was interesting with a creamy, white sauce on the onions. I wanted to try a bite of the Tikkudak but John and Tom both thought it would be much too spicy for me. The coleslaw and fries were good.
CM Chicken was an interesting place to eat. If you like Chinese or Japanese food, you will probably like CM Chicken. And if you don’t like spicy, there is always the regular fried chicken. Maybe next time we go I will try something spicier.