I actually moved here from New York, so when I encounter some heartless creature who reminds me of the
glory of what’s called chicken over rice, I die a little inside.
I was also a student, which made chicken over rice a staple in my diet, and the walk to the halal cart at 1am,
a beautiful ritual and a god-given blessing for my hungry soul.
What I'm talking about: New York Style, Chicken over Rice.
Yes, you can say it’s just a New York ‘thing,' but ask anyone who’s ever visited New York and they’ll tell
you of their trip to the horror of what is midtown. How they hunted down the 'original' Halal Guys food
cart, after memorizing that they’ll find it specifically on 53rd and 6th avenue. They'll tell you how they
waited half an hour or even over an hour in line to taste the most highly revered chicken over rice in
New York, and probably the world.
Because someone told them, if you’re in New York, don’t leave without trying it.
I think it's a hilarious sight, that come dusk, outside these huge skyscraper office buildings of multi-million
dollar companies which surround the halal guys truck, there are just groups and hoards of excited little
tourists eating outside on the streets. But the amused workers leaving these offices who see this everyday
understand, because they're heading to the truck too.
This Halal Guy's cart is iconic, it’s symbolic, and just ugh drool so good. Anyway, this article is for everyone
in Seoul who longs to taste that crack white sauce again. We no longer have to want what we can't have
because some genius brought it over to Seoul.
He called it Jil’hal bros, and it’s in Cheongdam-dong. I think it’s funny that they also made it a takeaway
spot, à la New York, but here we won't have to look homeless eating in the streets because they share
seating space with the restuarant next door.
Reading up about this very new place, I began to wonder about the brains behind the franchise. As an
entitled (ex) New Yorker, i was curious for where their inspiration came from and if Halal Guys in New York
had anything to do with it. It was sweet satisfaction to hear that my secret hope turned out to be true.
And I heard it straight from the horse's mouth.
We talked to John, CEO & founder of Jil'hal bro's. After trying to franchise the Halal Guy's brand and recipe
to bring it to Seoul, he went on a quest to do it on his own. Over months of experiments in his own kitchen,
and using fresh chicken over rice from Halal Guy's as a model, he concocted a recipe that he was
A consciously made difference of the original he says is his chicken over rice is of higher quality and healthier. The recipe is what you'll find at Jil'hal bro's and his recipe has in turn awakened a new
generation of newly born chicken over rice obsessed beings in Seoul.
I haven't gone and tried it yet. But the thought of me going this Saturday night, brings back a familiar
anticipation and thrill that I remember the first time I was handed a steaming bag of Halal chicken over
rice. It's a sweet distant memory, like dejavu to imagine myself once again leaving the house to bring
it back home again. But this time it feels new.
This time, I'm in Korea so I imagine the trip to Cheongdam-dong. I imagine struggling to find the place
whilst doubting it'll be the taste I remember. I'll arrive, and I’ll sit, and I’ll open my takeaway box. I'll have
my first bite and I fall in love again.
Address : 124-11 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul-si > All Area
Walk out of Cheongdam Station, exit 9.
Walk straight and cross at the next main intersection.
Take the next right, after about 20 metres.
Jil'Hal bros is about 200m down this road on your right.