by Steven Doyle
The building that houses Chicken Moto was an auto repair shop before the team converted it into a full service restaurant with bar. Co-owner Sam Osee explains, “I love motorcycles, beers and fried chicken. These are perhaps the pure joys of my life outside of faith and family. Why not have great fried chicken and drink some cold beer in a place that feels comfortable and inviting.”
Moto is dotted with beautiful motorcycles and gear, including one super sexy Norton which we heard is for sale.
Osee is one of four talents that have taken Dallas by storm with their venture Bbbop and their handful of locations across the city (the latest with a killer bar in Oak Cliff) and they have this Korean fried chicken thing down to a fine science. This latest venture is perched off of Central Expressway in a district that is populating with some interesting little restaurants such as an Asian noodle bistro next door to Moto, but the area seems more fit for day traffic, and indeed the restaurant does more business during lunch.
That said, you will receive exemplary service in the evening with a staff that believes heartily in the Moto concept, at least as much as we do. We enjoyed our experience, and that chicken seems a tad other-worldly.
The menu is straightforward and uncomplicated with Korean fried chicken offered as the full bird, half bird or quarter (dark or light meat) with the choice of two glaze options being Soy Ginger or Sweet and Spicy Chili along with a choice of sides, which when served appear as large bowls of banchan.
Guests can also order chicken “naked” (no glaze). Starters range from creative items like Chicken Cracklin’ and Elotes (on the cob with Korean spicy mayo) to more familiar options that include Taro Chips, Edamame, Pickled Veggies (could use a bit more kick), curry fries and Korean dipping sauce. The latter arrives extremely aromatic, but has a milder and addictive flavor and a nice crunch to the skinny fry. The Cracklin’ comes with four sauces ranging from mild and sweet to a bit of fire of habanero and the sleeper star that becomes more addictive with each bite.
We enjoyed our meal with the fun sides that took us from an ordinary dinner, but not too unfamiliar. The beans and corn are definitely Mexican influenced with a slight variation on the theme. Moto is definitely built to replicate, and that is perfectly fine with us. In these times in Dallas where fried chicken is becoming a population problem the Korean variation is welcomed and enjoyed.