Wings London – Hanwell, London
With a large and strikingly prominent black-and-white shopfront sign that’s lit up in lights during the evening, Wings London on Boston Road, west London, is a Halal-friendly restaurant with an American-themed menu that revolves around chicken wings and strips.
What makes this restaurant stand out from the crowd, however, is the choice available to diners of having their wings, strips and wraps fried or grilled. And with five marinations to choose from, that amounts to 30 different combination types when not including the vegan option.
With the black-and-white colour scheme on the outside being smartly continued on the in, low-hanging light with ultra-large bulbs ensure the place is warmly lit, while framed pictures, depicting the history of Ealing and the local area going back a century or more, make for interesting wall decor.
The 70-cover restaurant has an open-plan kitchen, and offers two spaciously comfortable 9-seater booths with grey cushioned upholstery.
We all picked up on the following detail: the distinct separation of the milk and its condiment, which no amount of shaking and stiring was going to remedy, simply because the problem stemmed from the beverage being far too milky to begin with.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, while they were all relatively insipid in taste, we all agreed that the Oreo was our flavour of choice (though not so much out of merit you’ll understand). If you’re seeking after something minty, on the other hand, then go for the Aero Mint.
One Lion found these to be too chilli; the others enjoyed them for what they were: taste bud kickstarters!
Generously filled with a subtly flavoured cream cheese à la Philadelphia, be sure to eat these crispy, bite-sized Chilli Cheese Bites in one go so as to enjoy them for all they’re worth.
Satisfying little niblets – nothing more and nothing less.
The guacamole sauce had a smooth and creamy consistency to it, whilst the freshly diced salsa, mild in taste, brought a pleasant sweetness to the bowl.
And though there were plenty of very good, crunchy nachos topped with plenty of jalapenos, the sour cream failed to offer anything significant.
The biggest let down here, however, and one that was most peculiar, was the addition of the cheese. Melted as it was over the nachos, we found a large, semi-solid clump of it under the rest of the toppings. Not very pleasant!
Resting on a bed of lettuce were two large balls of Mozzarella Stuffed Garlic Mushrooms which were drizzled in some sauce.
The trick to enjoying these, we found, was to devour them in a timely manner before the Mozzarella on the inside began to congeal.
In doing so, what you get is a mouthful of water released by the earthy mushrooms along with the subtly flavoured cheese that offers texture and not much more.
The BBQ on the left was viscous in its consistency and successfully managed to deliver that familiar smokines one would want from such a sauce.
The Mango and Lime though was the more interesting of the two, with a nice, mellowness to it.
Despite the valiant attempt of the lettuce and the peculiarly tasting kale in dampening this salad’s overarching sweet flavour, the combination of the orange, honey, pomegranate seeds and sauce (the mustard in this reduction was conspicuously absent), mango, and slithers of avocado, was simply too much.
While said sweetness was surprisingly good to begin with, thus pointing to the undoubted potential of this Superfood Special, it quickly became apparent to us that what this salad was missing was a serious counter to an altogether sickly sweet concoction.
THE MAIN EVENT
From the Fryer or the Grill!
3 Pieces: £3.99 | 6 Pieces – £5.99 | 9 Pieces – £7.99
This is where Wings London appears to come into its own. By giving diners the choice of having their chicken wings, strips and wraps fried or grilled, there’s at least 30 different combos to play with when factoring in the availability of the following five marinations:
- Texas Smokey BBQ
- Thai Sweet Chilli
- Japanese Teriyaki
- New Orleans Fried Buttermilk
- Franks Hot
Note: Tennessee Jack Daniels is alcohol-based.
And this is not taking into consideration the vegan options available.
These stalagmite-presented chicken wraps had the meat generously coated in a glistening sauce called Franks Hot (essentially hot Buffalo sauce), and wrapped in freshly made thin bread.
And they certainly didn’t disappoint. While the chicken was just the right thickness – soft and succulent, and with a crispy exterior – the sauce delivered a delicious smoky-sweetness, which was followed close behind by some serious heat, all of which had us wanting more.
These fried Chicken Strips were amply covered in a standard Thai Sweet Chilli sauce which, while “instantly hitting the senses” of one Lion “before quickly dissipating”, was shiny, and more a glaze than a sauce.
As for the strips themselves, then these were thin, a touch dry, and could have done with the sauce being cooked along with them so as to impart some smoky-sweetness, rather than merely being smeared over after the fact.
This time covered in the Franks Hot sauce, these fried Chicken Strips were far better, and proof that wings or strips allowed to absorb any given sauce or marinade work far better than just being applied post-cooking.
These had a lovely crunchy exterior, were a tad dry on the inside, but satisfying enough to have us licking our fingers at the end.
To our surprise, however, they turned out to be quite crumbly in texture.
Taste-wise, they had a disappointingly insipid sweetness to them and not much more else.
By the end, we were all forced to take a good number of gulps of water just to clear away our collective palates.
Having said all that, however, praise ought to be given to a chicken wings joint for providing a vegan alternative.
Kudos, therefore, to Wings London for that!
As good as these crispy, crumbly and crunchy fried Chicken Wings were on the outside, their biggest shortcoming was the blandness of the buttermilk batter.
Despite being succulent on the inside albeit slightly oily, the batter failed to replicate the spices of one global chicken chain that’s recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons after suffering from poultry supply problems.
As such, you’ll definitely be needing those dips on offer.
With that being said, the nicely toasted buns contained a beef patty that was thick and bordering on well done. Consequently, it wasn’t as juicy as it needed to be, while also being under seasoned.
The crispy hash brown merely leant a soft, potatoey texture more than anything else, while the semi-crispy Turkey rasher a gentle smoky edge.
In the end, this was a decently executed burger that one could easily get at any other decent burger joint.
If we told you that the star of this show was the warm, soft bun, with the satisfying give of a perfectly cooked hot dog bun, would you want us to continue?
Alas, continue we must. The hot dog was a Turkey one, that was decently cooked, had a smoky touch to it, and rested atop lightly fried red onions, a peculiar layer of cheese, and covered in ketchup which one Lion considered “too much”.
Although there is the choice of other condiments to add, such as mustard, in the end, this was far too simple to cause any excitement (euphemistically described as “boring” by another Lion).
Spiced Skinny French Fries that oscillated between crispy and just slightly under.
This delectable Chocolate Brownie had a delicately crispy top, and a soft, warm and gorgeously textured, umptious interior, whose dark chocolate aftertaste was beautifully tempered by the two scoops of velvety coconut ice cream drizzled in caramel sauce. Deliciously good!
The smoothness of the layer of cheese in this Strawberry Cheesecake was fantastic. And since it wasn’t overly sweet, it married wonderfully with the strawberry reduction syrup poured over the top and across the gorgeously glazed strawberries.
All desserts, we were told, are inhouse made. Impressive!
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- UBER EATS
- JUST EAT
The restaurant itself is aesthetically pleasing, ultra clean, and very welcoming from the outside. As for their menu, then it's been kept simple enough, with everything made to fit on a single sheet. But, what makes this place stand out from the crowd is that they offer diners the choice of having their chicken wings, strips and wraps either fried or grilled. Juxtapose all that to the five marinations available and, according to our maths, that makes at least 30 different combos to try (that's not including the vegan options).
With hardly any other Halal restaurants on the long stretch of Boston Road, Wings London is certainly worth a visit if you're in the area.
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