Wales Halal restaurant food tour: Cardiff’s Wing Stack sets high barHALAL STATUS Fully Halal
We love our community & care about it passionately, in the the past year we have contributed over £6k to charitable causes – Wing Shack
Wing Stack’s inclusion in FtLion’s Halal food tour of Wales was inevitable (sponsored by Harmony Farm in Torfaen who offer BBQs, camping, B&B, yurts, and more), not least of all because it happens to be the UK’s first Halal chicken wing restaurant to collaborate with a Michelin-starred chef.
Since launching in 2020, this particular chicken has crossed the road on numerous occasions to team up with world-renowned Chef James Sommerin and create some uniquely memorable chicken wings.
During our visit, Chef James, who runs the fine dining restaurant Home in Penarth near the Welsh capital, had just finished working his magic with Wing Stack to produce what was called ‘Sommerin’s Wings’.
With seasonally-inspired ‘flavour of the month’ chicken wings regularly introduced throughout the year, these limited-edition items is what makes these guys one of the most exciting Halal restaurant brands we’ve encountered.
Well known for their participation in events and festivals, both locally and the rest of Wales, including a regular at Glamorgan Cricket Club, Wing Stack were preparing to take part in the annual Cardiff Food & Drink Festival when we visited.
With a delivery kitchen in Cardiff’s Rumney and a pop-up in Canton, this branch on Whitchurch Road is their first bricks-and-mortar site, with a semi-rustic interior and decor centring around a black and yellow colour scheme, and comfortable boothed-seating for 40 diners.
FLAVOUR OF THE MONTHRECOMMENDED
If these Sommerin’s Wings prove anything, they prove that Michelin chefs are cut from a different cloth.
When it comes to chicken wings, Sommerin’s were utterly unique in every respect, with a flavour profile that will long live in the memory.
To get an idea of how exotically aromatic these really were, here’s the list of ingredients for their smashed panko batter: fennel, cumin, coriander, chipotle, dry birds eye chilli and white truffle.
The result were delicately crispy, deep-fried nuggets of perfection, taken to levels hitherto unknown with the addition of a deeply-flavoured roasted tomato chutney jam, all of which came together to deliver a startling revelation. “Michelin star magic” indeed!
And if things couldn’t get any better, we were presented with a Wing Stack Mega Box of epic proportions.
Just have a glance at the salad in the top right corner of the box. Any place which goes to the lengh these guys did in producing such an uber-crunchy, fresh and zingy salad inclusive of apple, carrots, and pomegranates, are serious about creating impressions.
What follows was just a foregone conclusion, leaving us with the formality of enjoying arguably one of the, if not the, best boxes we’ve ever had.
Nothing was left to chance here; everything was on point; these guys were not messing about with savoury Jerk on Fire Wings topped in red chillis; Dada Naga Wings, which delivered that signature Bengali naga spice; and Buffalo Solider Wings saturated in that rich tangy sauce – all of which we enjoyed with the inhouse blue cheese dip or the sriracha mayo.
In addition, there were Cauliflower Bites, lightly battered before being fried; perfectly executed Buttermilk Panko Chicken Tenders, which requires dousing in the maple syrup; and, of course, that unbelievable salad.
Coming with crispy chips that were lightly seasoned, these BBQ Wings were covered in a beautifully sticky, barbecue glaze, with the smokiness coming through gently.
Extraordinary! This would be a prime example of the star of the show shining for all it’s worth.
You could have served this with minimal condiments, and we’d have been floored. Elevate it with homemade slaw and inhouse sauces, as well as slices of beetroot (pickled at that); and behold, their signature Wing Stack Burger.
With a buttermilk panko coating this light, delicate and flavourful, this turned out to be one of the best chicken burgers we’ve had in years. If this isn’t nominated for our end of year awards, we’ll retire.
Another example of how those seemingly small margins can make the difference between another tasty loaded fries, and one you’ll remember for those homemade sauces.
This Dirty Stacker Chips was dirty in all the right ways, with seasoned chips covered in cheese which, in being more saucy than gooey, allowed it to texturally complement the sriracha sauce, with spring onions, red chillis, and even coriander, to finish proceedings.
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- JUST EAT
- UBER EATS
While there are some that start out with that initial flair and innovaton, they eventually lose that drive, seemingly overwhelmed by the endless grind and routine. It takes a special something; a drive and passion, to push oneself month in, month out to invent new menu items, let alone go that extra mile in managing to secure the help of a Michelin chef no less.
Wing Stack appear to have achieved and maintained all this. In doing so, they set a benchmark for other wing brands, nay most brands, to aspire towards. If you haven't heard of them yet, we believe you will.
While there's plenty of reason to visit the 'Land of Dragons', Wing Stack should undoubtedly be at the top of your culinary list, especially if you're a serious Halal foodie.
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86 Whitchurch Rd, Cardiff CF14 3LY.
T: +44 (0)29 2037 7609 | W: @wingstackuk
Opening Times: Mon CLOSED | Tue-Thur, Sun 16:00-23:00 | Fri-Sat 16:00-00:00