Check out Dubai's best chicken wings
Chomping chicken wings is a messy business but one that fills us with an unconfined joy. When else can you get away with looking like you’ve come off worst in a battle with a bottle of HP (other condiment brands are available)?
It’s certainly not a dish to order on date night, unless your other half is in the mood for showing her sloppy, slobbish side and making a mess of her little black dress that is. If she is, perfect. Just maybe suggest she grabs a bib as buffalo sauce is notoriously hard to get out of Chanel couture, we hear.
Whatever the occasion, here’s our dirty (fingered) dozen of Dubai’s best wings...
As soon as this Al Barsha ‘hipster hangout’ opened, we couldn’t wait to take them up on their offer of North American comfort food at prices that’ll equally put you at ease. Chef Patrick Lanteigne excels at plenty of things on his menu and we love the way he works the mighty chicken wing. His buffalo offerings come slathered in the famous Frank’s RedHot sauce. Unleash the beast on a Thursday and they’re only AED2 each.
Where: First Central Hotel Suites, Barsha Heights
Contact: +971 4 454 4950
Every time we visit this JLT purveyor of fine north-eastern Thai street food, we know there’s something novel in chef New’s culinary thinking that we can run with. The combo deals at Café Isan are perfect for a lunchtime by the water, and in our minds these quick bites shine brightest when we’ve ordered the Full Moon Wings with garlic fries (don’t do this by halves, we beg of you). The chef’s tantalising Thai marinade is something else, and even better when you can get the wings at AED69 as part of a combo.
Where: Cluster M, JLT
Contact: +971 58 287 3181
Technically, this place is a crab shack. But to say it solely concentrates on crustaceans would be to do it a massive disservice. Yes, you could get caught up in the whole fishing-nets-hanging-from-the-ceiling vibe and the super seafood it serves up but its wings are wonderful. Buffalo, garlic and parmesan or sweet barbecue are the obvious choices, though if you can scoff at least seven of the ‘XXX Suicide Inferno Wings’ in 20 minutes they’ll hand you a free bottle of hops (or, preferably, a glass of milk).
Where: Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai
Contact: +971 4 432 2300
Hard Rock Cafe
Having been a rocking part of the Festival City furniture for a couple of decades now, you’d expect this place to have its food menu as sublime yet beautifully surprising as a Jimi Hendrix solo. Thankfully it still does. And its signature wings, with their smoked dry rub and choices of Classic Rock, Tangy or Heavy Metal sauces as an encore, are well worth getting the band (of Gypsys, or otherwise) together for. Even more so when portion after portion comes with unlimited specific hops from 7pm to 10pm on a Monday.
Where: Dubai Festival City Mall
Contact: +971 4 232 8900
Kim’s Korean at 24th Street
Wanderlust shouldn’t purely be a bug bitten by those with endless funds and infinite time at their disposal. The Dusit Thani’s 24th Street concept lets you cross four Asian nations in the blink of an eye. While here, we’ve gleefully devoured everything on the Kim’s Korean menu. However, it’s the delightful Dak Gang Jeong that will always make us come back for a second helping. These wondrous wings are both sweet and crispy, the edge of the chilli sauce making them yet more enticing.
Where: Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact: +971 4 317 4515
Original Wings & Rings
To call yourself both ‘Original’ and the ‘Home of Buffalo Wings’ could be a double claim that would soon see you in front of judge and jury. Mercifully, OWAR (as no-one calls it, until now at least) manages to back up both affirmations with some substance. Choose your weapon (traditional, or boneless if you’re too posh to pluck) and then select your sauce from the 11 on offer. The ‘One Billion’ is off-the-scale hot so tread lightly, and maybe inform your next of kin before tackling it.
Where: Liberty House, DIFC
Contact: +971 4 359 6900
Perry & Blackwelders
For a taste of the Deep South (and we’re not talking about Antarctica, or Oman, here) you certainly can’t go far wrong with the sublimely smokey offerings at P&Bs. This venue has an idyllic setting for a date night but should you be in possession of a pink slip, bring your best buddies along for Wingman Wednesday. A mere AED99 will get you your choice of P&Bs’ nine wing infusions, all of which should hit the spot. And when your cohorts’ tears are flowing after hitting the Red Hot Sauce, perhaps a pitcher of hops for the same price will help ease the pain.
Where: Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Contact: +971 800 666 353
This sports bar and grill in Al Barsha has so few pretensions it won’t even let David Beckham lookalikes through its door (fact-check pending). So when its menu labels the salads ‘Tree Huggers’, we know it doesn’t take itself too seriously. What The Huddle is deadly serious about, though, is a warm welcome regardless of what team you support, as well as the chance to ‘Just Wing It’ with its bounteous bundles of bite-size chicken. Two dozen of them cost a mere Dhs106, the peri peri variety being ideal for an afternoon of ‘oohs, aahs, and mmms’.
Where: Citymax Hotels, Al Barsha
Contact: +971 50 100 7046
It took a while for Dubai to fully embrace the global appreciation of genius Jamaican cuisine but we’re holding onto this original kitchen as tightly as we do our, ahem, scratched Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry CDs. Although the jerk chicken, curry goat, festivals and blue drass are the obvious draws, there’s no way we’d be an Upsetter by suggesting that the Flamin’ Wings are anything but amazing. The seven signature flavours make for a beautiful history of seven killer tastes in our book.
Where: Manzil Downtown Dubai
Contact: +971 4 557 5601
While we’re definitely not opposed to clean living, the thought of leaving one of the Marina original of this double-bill of delicious outlets without sauce all over us would leave us feeling somewhat unfulfilled. Wings are undoubtedly the name of the game here – and the hotter, the better. The line-up consists of 22 different heats running the full gamut of the Scoville Scale, each version having its own mobster-influenced name and each as tasty as the last. But why would you want to play the ‘Parole Officer’ when you could be ‘The Godfather’?
Where: Time Place Hotel, Dubai Marina
Contact: +971 4 526 9260
From its humble beginnings as a small eatery in Texas, this global chain has spread its wings as far afield as Colombia, Indonesia and, of course, the UAE. It has seven franchises here alone but while you’d think the family of 1,100 outlets worldwide would lessen its quality, you really couldn’t be fUrther from the mark. The Louisiana Rub is a huge favourite wherever you go but when you’re in the mood for something a little hotter, the Mango Habanero or Atomic should be your fancy. Maybe take a side of the Mild or Hawaiian to take the edge off it, if needs be.
Where: Various locations across Dubai
Contact: +971 800 27283
Unless you’re John Singleton, the pedants in us won’t normally let you get away with such a naming faux pas. However, when we see these cheeky chappies in full flow, it’s hard not to feel like loosening up a little. The Korean spicy wings here will wok your socks off, with the sriracha sauce and gochugaru chillies giving them the perfect amount of kick. The smarty pants among you will already know about Wicked Wing Wednesday when you can grab them at AED3 a pop. You can take this deal home, too, should you get a little sauce-splattering shy.
Where: Al Durrah Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact: +971 4 330 0060