Cincinnati has plenty of breweries, and attached to more than a few of them? Traditional barbeque joints. Which is exactly why Mapi De Veyra and Kam Siu of DOPE! Asian Street Fare chose to open Decibel Korean Fried Chicken in the kitchen space next to Esoteric Brewing in Walnut Hills. As one of only a very limited number of places in town that currently serves fried chicken of this tasty variety, they knew their food would be different and that it’d be freakin’ delicious with good local beer. De Veyra, head chef at the venture, had long been an impassioned fan of the dish—which is lighter and crispier than the American version due in large part to a double-frying process—first experiencing it as a youngster in the Philippines and subsequently featuring Korean fried chicken when he worked as chef at Quan Hapa.
Decibel’s menu keeps things simple, offering wings, tenders, and drumsticks in one of four sauces (dry spice, garlic soy, spicy, or Gochujang BBQ). No matter your flavor, you’re sure to savor that crispy skin with its distinctly airy crunch. The restaurant also features Korean fried corn dog and mozzarella sticks, drizzled with fly sauce and gochujang BBQ sauce, and topped with green onion and furikake seasoning for a touch of umami. Don’t sleep on the sides. The seaweed salad and the waffle fries with dry spice are great, but it’s the kimchi that really cranks up the volume on a quick takeout meal.
Decibel Korean Fried Chicken, 922 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, (513) 429-5002,