Common Korean Fried Chicken Burger

Review of Common – Korean Fried Chicken Burger


What they say:

kfc, gochujang, kimchi slaw.

Price: £8.50.

Calories: Unknown.

Common Korean Fried Chicken Burger
The KFC Burger at Common – simple construct, tasty execution…

Common is a staple of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, epitomising the area both in terms of the decor of the place and the people who go there.

As for the former, the look of the place is part 1980s Manhattan loft, part IKEA, with touches from the Crystal Maze industrial zone. This sort of design is ubiquitous in the NQ because it works and hasn’t dated yet.

But in middle of the dining area is something that doesn’t fit. Two hideous hippy curtains in bright patchy colours. Almost like the Manhattan loft in question used to belong to Mamma Cass.

I wouldn’t normally devote such a number of words to curtains, but in this case it’s warranted. It utterly spoils the whole place; totally cringe worthy in an otherwise sleek and modern space.

Common Korean Fried Chicken Burger
World’s ugliest curtains…

Anyway, Common is very popular, not least for its selection of doughnuts available to eat in or takeaway daily. Food is given a pretty extensive menu and I sit down with a £7 bottle of Danish Pilsner while I choose (just let that price sink in for a minute).

Mesmerised by the doughnut tray, I also order my takeaway before they get sold out.

It’s the Korean Fried Chicken Burger that grabs me – Korean spicy sauce and slaw on their fried chicken in a bun.

All sounds good, and having seen pics on social media, looks pretty amazing too. That said, despite the large windows, the cloudy day kind of spoils my photographs, so for that I apologise. Can’t really blame the minging curtains for that, because they aren’t over the window.

Almost everyone in this place is younger than me – it’s that sort of place, but service is friendly, knowledgeable and impeccable.

Common Korean Fried Chicken Burger
Close-up makes it look big, but it’s not…

It arrived in pretty quick time, with a fairly spartan arrangement of burger and pickle on a small white plate. The first thing that struck me was the smell. Extremely inviting. I initially put this down to the sauce but I suspect it was more of an ensemble effort.

What also struck me was the size. Not big. For lunch, that’s great, suits me perfectly. I actually prefer small dishes, and eating more frequently.

Essentially, what we’ve got here is a sturdy, slightly toasted dark brioche bun, some lovely fried chicken, a decent amount of tasty slaw and a spicy sauce. There’s really nothing to fault.

Common Korean Fried Chicken Burger
Tasty slaw, lovely chicken, hot sauce…

Is it the best fried chicken in Manchester? No. But it’s really very, very good, spot-on cooking and it is actually quite addictive. I put that down to the sauce mainly. Heat does seem to make me want to tuck in more eagerly – I’m not talking about the flames of Mercury that Burger Lad® has in his sleep, but normal-people spicy. All good.

As with almost all non-fast-food chicken burgers, this didn’t have cheese. I like cheese on my burger, whatever the meat, but nothing seemed to be too much trouble here at Common. I reckon if I’d asked, they’d have done it.

This isn’t going to fill up the most ravenous of stomachs but as a decent lunchtime pit stop with a perfect amount of kick to it, I loved it.

Common Korean Fried Chicken Burger
Generous sauce is pretty spicy…

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