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Wing Wing London Restaurant Review: Korean ‘Chimaek’ Fried Chicken and Beer

Move over Kentucky, there’s a new fried chicken colonel in town — and these guys also sell pints of beer that pour themselves from the bottom of the glass.

Restaurant brand Wing Wing serves “the other KFC,” Korean fried chicken, from their London branches in Tavistock Square and Charing Cross, which is where we went. Known as “Chimaek,” this fried chicken and beer combo is perhaps Korea’s finest culinary option. Sorry to all the bibimbap and barbecue fans out there…

As someone who has enjoyed a wide variety of Korean food while traveling to Busan and Seoul, I was excited to get a taste of how a London restaurant could serve up the Chimaek concept. I shouldn’t be disappointed, this was finger licking chicken.

What is Chimaek?

There are some food discoveries that feel like “finding money on the floor,” Lauren Bull continued CrazyKoreanCooking.com. Chimaek is “one such discovery”. Chimaek is a Korean-language “mash-up” of fried chicken (chi) and beer (maekju), a combination that has been “a staple of Korean cuisine for years.” Beginning in the 1970s, “in a true collective stroke of genius,” Koreans built an entire business model around mating.

Chimaek rose to fame during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and more recently “he made our mouths water in front of our screens” watching Korean dramas crash landing on youhe said South China tomorrow post. It’s a match made in foodie heaven.

Korea “frankly doesn’t have the best beer in the world,” he said The Korea Times. So that’s “exactly why we pair it with the world’s best chicken.” It is an “irresistible union”.

Fried chicken and beer at Wing Wing

How was the food at the wing wing?

I’m not exaggerating when I say the chicken at Charing Cross was just as tasty as it was in Busan’s bustling Haeundae Beach area. It was more crunchy than greasy.

wings wings‘s menu is packed with treats – and the ‘signature’ grand pianos and drumsticks are a must for your order. We recommend choosing a mix of the three flavors Liquorice, Soy Garlic and Spicy. Licorice-flavored chicken might not sound appealing, but there’s a natural sweetness that complements the meat. Six wings cost £7.50 while six drumsticks cost £13.50.

For mains, yes that was just the ‘starters’ we opted for the chicken katsu boa bun (£7.80) which tasted as good as it looked. And to go a little to the left, we also ordered some crispy breaded prawns (£9.90) so we didn’t feel totally ripped off.

After stuffing our faces with all that chicken, dessert really shouldn’t have been an option. But how can anyone resist a bao ‘nut’ (£2.50 each), a bun filled with strawberry cream, salted peanuts or banana caramel? “Would you like to try all three?” Oh, go ahead then. They might look a little too cute, which is true, but they were worth the we’re-too-full-to-eat-anything-blame.

The bao nuts come in three flavors: strawberry cream, salted peanut, and banana caramel

what about the drinks

Did we mention that you can also buy beer at Wing Wing? We washed down our “other KFC” with a few pints of Japanese lager, Kirin. Other draft options included Camden Pale Ale, Bud Light and Hoegaarden. Would we rather have a pint or two of a Korean beer like Hite? Maybe, but the stone cold Kirin did a good job on a school night.

Beer is the drink of choice for Chimaek, but if you want to sample a Korean tradition, order some shoju. This is a clear, sweet spirit available here in strawberry, green apple or grapefruit. Cocktail fans can also enjoy classics on tap like Mojito, Aperol Spritz and Gin Garden.

The top floor of the Wing Wing Restaurant in Charing Cross

K-Pop, Karaoke and Music Bingo

From the outside, the Charing Cross Wing looks like any other grocery store. Step inside, however, and it’s like being transported straight to Seoul. The branding is bright — all pink, yellow, blue, green, and neon — and there’s also a funky animated ad on the second-story windows to lure passers-by.

For the K-poppers out there, the many screens show music videos from the biggest K-pop girl and boy bands. Looking at the other patrons, it was obvious that K-Pop was as big a draw as the kitchen.

Wing Wing doesn’t just serve delicious food. There are “KTV Karaoke” rooms, areas for private parties and events such as music bingo. The second music bingo May 18th event celebrates Asian music alongside Western hits in a classic bingo format. Expect to hear the biggest K-Pop songs from bands like BTS, Blackpink, Wonder Girls and Loona.

What’s the verdict?

That is really easy. This was a winner, winner, chicken and beer meal. A word of warning, don’t go to Wing Wing for a quick meal. This is way better than fast food or take-out, so make it a (school-free) night out.

Wing Wing, 47-49 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0AN; wingwing.co.uk

https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/food-drink/956707/wing-wing-london-chimaek-restaurant-review-fried-chicken-beer Wing Wing London Restaurant Review: Korean ‘Chimaek’ Fried Chicken and Beer

Fry Electronics Team

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