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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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New Korean restaurant Chicken and Boba opens in Norris University Center

Micah Sandy/Daily Senior Staffer
Chicken and Boba. This new Korean-fusion restaurant launched in the basement of Norris University Center last month.

Korean-fusion eatery CM Chicken, which many students refer to as Chicken & Boba, opened for business in mid-September at Norris University Center.

The restaurant replaced Viet Nom Nom’s basement-floor location. Serving up a new variety of Asian cuisine to the Northwestern community, Chicken & Boba’s menu items include Korean fried chicken, rice bowls, noodles and a variety of boba drinks — each available for purchase with dining dollars or credit and debit cards.  

While CM Chicken, a Korean-style fried chicken franchise, operates the restaurant, the sign on the Norris ground-floor storefront reads “Chicken & Boba.”

According to Sophia Bamiatzis, NU Dining’s district marketing manager, NU Dining surveyed more than 300 Norris guests to develop the building’s next culinary concept. The majority of respondents preferred Asian cuisine, she said.  

From there, NU Dining selected Chicken & Boba to serve the demands of Norris diners, she said. 

“Their authentic offerings and dietary accommodations were an exact match to the needs and preferences of Norris guests,” Bamiatzis said. 

Medill freshman Sarah Lin swiftly sampled the new addition, trying a chi-bap — a Korean fried chicken rice bowl — in the stall’s first week of operations. 

Lin said she’ll certainly return for more.

“I come from a household that eats a lot of rice, so having rice and chicken — especially fried chicken — outside of the dining hall was really good,” Lin said. “I liked it, and I think it looks really good.” 

Communication freshman Yaewon Woo has already tried several menu items: chi-bap, tteokbokki (Korean rice cakes), cheese balls and various boba drinks. 

However, as a person of Korean descent, she finds the food to be inauthentic. 

“There are more fried pieces of flour than chicken,” Woo said. “The portions are really smalI … and the tteokbokki is sweet, not spicy.” 

As a result, Woo often prefers the tacos and burritos at Buen Dia when she dines at Norris. She would prefer meal exchange options, which Chicken & Boba doesn’t offer, and larger portion sizes.  

Medill freshman Eliza Tucker shared Woo’s sentiment on meal exchanges. Tucker said she hopes Chicken & Boba will accept meal exchange swipes in the future, as she prefers to save her dining dollars. 

Bamiatzis said NU Dining is continuously monitoring its dining concepts through several channels, including traffics and sales analysis, along with guest feedback. 

While Tucker said the taro milk tea with tapioca pearls “tasted pretty good,” she had one qualm with the beverages. 

“There was no option to customize sugar or ice levels in the drinks,” Tucker said. 

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Twitter: @askforchili

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