We got invited to celebrate National Chicken Wing Day at Wing Zone, which is located in London’s Finsbury Park.
Wing Zone opened up in London in November 2015. But it’s origins are from across the pond where it was started by Matt Friedman and Adam Scott, when they were students at the University of Florida. They worked hard to perfect the flavours to go with their chicken wings and turned a small store into a franchise with over 100 stores in 11 different countries worldwide.
Despite being called Wing Zone, they say it’s all about the flavourful sauce rather than the wings. Currently in their UK branch, they have nine different flavours available (in the USA they have 16!). Wing Zone want you to find your flavour and become a Wing Zone “flavorholic”.
When we arrived, we were instantly charmed by the friendly staff who made us feel so welcomed. There was also quite a buzz inside the restaurant and quite soon a queue was forming outside too.
We were given a special tasting menu to try out:
Chicken Tenders – these were served with Wing Zone’s four most popular flavours: Garlic Parm, Buffalo Bliss, Hot Shot and Sweet Samurai. These tenders were super yummy. The seasoned batter on the outside was similar to southern fried chicken and the chicken meat itself was cooked perfectly. We could tell that these were proper chunks of chicken, as opposed to the fake stuff you get in in some places. Together with the sauces, these chicken tenders were a great start to our meal.
Having tried these four sauces, we could understand why they were the most popular. Garlic Parm was like a pimped up garlic aioli with the parmesan and pepper. Buffalo Bliss was quite mild with an undertone of heat, so good for people who like a little bit of spice. Hot Shot is quite similar to Buffalo Bliss, but a little more spicy. Sweet Samurai as the name suggests is a sweet sauce, that’s similar to teriyaki sauce – a bit tangy and a bit sweet.
Chicken Wings (Original and Boneless) – we were looking forward to these wings the most, after all it was National Chicken Wing day! Sadly though, they were a little disappointing. Wing Zone are quite particular about the wings they serve – especially the size. But the original wings (as in with the bones) we got were on the small side and a bit dry, as opposed to juicy as Wing Zone describe on their menu. That’s the same with the boneless wings too – which by the way aren’t wings, but chunks of chicken. So quite a big contrast to the chicken tenders that were flavourful even without the sauce. Is it because we ordered our chicken naked rather than smothered with the sauce as it normally would be? Maybe. But without the sauce, these wings really aren’t anything special.
Having had the four most popular flavours with our tenders, we asked to try all the other flavours on offer at Wing Zone, to go with our wings. Of them all, our top three flavours to recommend are:
- Nuclear Habanero – which is supposed to be the spiciest of them all.
- But in our opinion the Mango Fire is the spiciest! We had a hate-love relationship with Mango Fire. The first taste was that sweet exotic mango and then the fire kicks in – first in your throat and then your tongue and lips feel the heat after. Although suffering from the heat, you’ll find yourself going back for more!
- All the way on the other end of the scale is Liquid Gold – which is a smooth golden sauce with a mustard base, perfect for those who don’t like spice but still want to taste some flavour.
Chips and Wedges – to go with our wings, we had side orders of chips and wedges. These were a delight to eat and went really well with the wings. Both the chips and wedges were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. When dipped into Wing Zone’s different sauces, they were even better! Definitely get some of these with your chicken.
Next we had our “Build Your Own Burgers” – there’s an option of beef, chicken or vegetarian. You can have any sauce or go “naked” and can add any of the five free toppings (mushrooms, jalapenos, onion, lettuce, tomato). You can also add bleu or cheddar cheese for an extra £0.50.
As we had so much sauce left over from before, we asked for our burgers to be served naked. This also meant we could taste the true flavours of the burgers. Unfortunately, we had a similar situation to the wings – without the sauce, the burgers aren’t really much. We also felt they looked a little sad when served, as if they hadn’t been put together with much love 🙁
The beef burger isn’t really anything to shout about. Even with the added sauces. We’d suggest staying away from the beef burgers if you’re visiting the Wing Zone.
The chicken burger, in comparison, was better. You can have grilled or breaded chicken. We opted for the chicken burger – which was quite tasty. It was 100% real chicken meat like the tenders we’d had previously. To be honest, you’d expect nothing less.
Overall we had an enjoyable time at the Wing Zone and we’re grateful for their invitation to their first store in the UK! There are some things we liked, and some we didn’t. But there’s no doubt that the sauces are pretty good and there’s one for everyone, whether you like spice or not. As it’s Wing Zone, they should probably stick to the wings rather than the burger. So we’re giving Wing Zone a total of 3 yums – if you’re in the area then give it a go, but we wouldn’t recommend you travelling all the way to Finsbury Park for just a few wings.
Address: 4A Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3JP
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday: 12:00pm – 11:00pm, Friday – Saturday: 12:00pm – 12:00am, Sunday: 12:00pm – 10:00pm