To be honest, I am not much of a hot wing aficionado or even their greatest fan. I don’t really go in for the skin on chickens and wings are always a bit fiddly. But I’d been hearing good things (understatement) about Orange Buffalo and I wanted to give them a try. After we had finally roused ourselves on Saturday, past midday, Stephen and I decided to go down to brick lane and have hot wings for breakfast!
I was expecting it to be busy and was prepared to queue but, whether it was the drab weather that had kept people away, or whether we had missed the lunch rush, it wasn’t busy at all and we walked right up to the counter. We had a portion each, which gets you 8 wings for £6 but we both chose different sauces. There are four to choose from – Original, Woof Woof (spicier), Vincent (Man Gogh – even spicier and with mango) and one with naga chillies, the name of which I can’t remember. I had the Woof Woof, Stephen had the Vincent. We also had a side of curly fries with buffalo ketchup. This was a good decision as even though you get eight wings, they are a little on the slight side, especially when you get the part of the wing that's not attached to the torso.
As Stephen said ‘these are the first wings I’ve had here that actually have crispy skin’. And they sure did. They were deep fried and then doused in the slightly thick, rather orange (the name has to come from somewhere I suppose) spicy sauce. And they were delicious. If all hot wings are like this then I’m definitely a convert, but of course, all hot wings aren’t like this and even from my limited experience I recognised what Stephen said about the skin being crispy – all too often the wings you get are almost soggy, having sat in their sauce for too long, or not fried properly in the first place. These really do crunch when you bite into them and it’s incredibly satisfying.
Both sauces were yummy and there was much literal finger licking so as not to waste any. It was spicy but it wasn’t all heat – the flavour was there too. Stephen and I swapped wings so I could try the Vincent as well. It was definitely a bit hotter than mine, but you could be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t at first because it is also sweeter than the Woof Woof (that’d be the mango) which fools you into thinking, initially, that there isn’t so much heat. It’ll catch up with you though and by the end of our wings we both had the telltale 'chilli sniffles'.
You got a pretty generous helping of blue cheese sauce, and also some celery sticks which were good for a break from the heat, but otherwise went untouched. The blue cheese sauce wasn’t particularly cheesey, which for us was a good thing, but might disappoint others.
The curly fries were fantastic, and really made me feel I could have been stateside. Properly crunchy and properly curly, rightly seasoned, and the ketchup wasn’t bad neither.