Randy’s Wing Bar Soft Opening – Hackney, London

WORD UP, INTERWEB! I recently saw a 50% off soft opening deal on LondonOnTheInside (worth a peek) for a chicken wing bar and though I AM THERE. I bloody love chicken wings and Randy’s Wing Bar is in Hackney, only 20 minutes from my house. Bingo bango.

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We booked online for 6.30 and the place was just starting up so pretty empty, but it did fill out during our meal. First impressions were that the outside needs a sign or something but it’s all laid out very nicely, the wooden and industrial look with benches for seating both outside and inside. Would be ace in the sun provided a few umbrellas are stuck up for pale sun feebs like me.

So, the food! As I said I do love a good chicken wing and, as a reference point for our readers, my top two so far are 1) BBQ Lab’s Chipuffalo and 2) Meat Liquor’s Bingo Wings. As the food was half price we went a bit nuts and ordered the Korean wings, the Buffalo wings, the Bulgogi chicken burger and furious fries (the name reminded me of Bleecker St’s angry fries).

The food came out a bit at a time rather than all at once which was fine with us – Buffalo wings first. Now usually the cheese sauce is on the side for dippage, but with these it was drizzled on as part of the overall dressing. Fine and dandy for me though I would probably have liked some for dipping too. My dining partner doesn’t usually dip into the cheese and has straight Buffalo wings but he didn’t mind this, so I don’t think the cheese was too strong. Wings are a good size and you get a nice portion for your buck.

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The Korean wings came out at the same time as the burger (which we halved) and they were nicely presented with a nut sprinkle and some greenery. Again, a good size and I think I preferred the flavour of these to the buffalo, though. I am a buffalo girl. Perhaps it was the lack of dipping cheese, or maybe these Korean wings were just a little different and tasty! Who knows but we can agree they get a thumbs up and were definitely my favourites.

I had read that RWB served crispy chicken wings and I didn’t find either set to be crispy. This wasn’t a problem and I could pull off any bits of skin that were too soft for me to enjoy but a crispy outer is my preference (as you can probably tell if you have sampled my top 2 wing faves). I’d be interested to try the other flavours, especially the southern fried type option for that bit of crunch/crispness. I did end up leaving a few of each wing type possibly purely down to not being bothered to pick off the soft skin and they didn’t drive me nuts and need me to gobble them all at once (when I eat BBQ Lab wings I can’t talk to anyone or do anything else until they are ALL finished, for example). Nice but not OMG THESE ARE DRIVING ME INSANE WITH THEIR GOODNESS, nice.

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Furious fries – I wasn’t too pleased with these… :(. I really wanted to be but I probably had around 10 and picked at them but, for me, nah. Maybe I had linked them too much to the Bleecker St angry fries as they have the same kind of idea…chips with buffalo sauce and cheese (RWB uses feta and I think BS uses a blue cheese sauce). When they came out they looked nice and I picked up a few…but they were cold. My other half who was eating with me didn’t seem to mind and carried on eating them regardless but they were definitely cold and super thin, so much so that each bite resulted in an audible crunch. They reminded me of the crisps French Fries. We let the staff know and I asked if they should be cold (maybe this was a serving choice!) and they were taken away to be sorted out. They came back still cold on the outside and luke warm in the middle (I stuck my finger into the pile of chips and there was no way I could have been burned) but the staff were so lovely I didn’t want to say again that they were still not chip temp. I picked at a couple more out of habit and left the rest. RIP furious fries. But that’s what a soft opening is for, to iron out teething problems

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Now…the Bulgogi burger may have been my favourite part of the meal actually. I was curious about the thai sauce stuff mentioned on the menu and I don’t have chicken burgers much (as you may assume from a wing bar, all the burgers are chicken). We halved the burger and it was juicy, flavoursome and had a nice bun too. It wasn’t overwhelmed by salad (some burgers are and it ends up falling out all over the place – no no no) and I would definitely order it again. Nom nom. Good work!

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After we’d finished the mains (possibly) the manager came over and asked how everything was, so I let him know about the chips and he explained that the cutter they used is very thin and the chips may have been cold as they use cold feta and the sauce is just warm. For me, I don’t think that would have caused the whole dish to be cold (the outside chips were cold too) and from thinking about it further, maybe the chips are too thin to retain heat for very long? I don’t know, it was strange, but maybe they can heat up their buffalo sauce if its that causing the problem.. the feedback was taken on though and hopefully this can be sorted before they open properly or maybe we just got a duff batch. The manager was apologetic and took the fries off the bill for us which was very much appreciated. This sounds like I was a right moany beast…negatives are always harder to write about than positives but we did big up the burger and wings to him too.

I forgot about pudding. Now THAT was my favourite part of the meal. Oh my gahhhhhd, it was shamazing. A super thick and rich brownie with ice cream on it (salted caramel?) sprinkled with biscuitty stuff. Yes please. The ice cream was a good consistency with bits of flake mixed in and it went really nicely with the brownie. I probably finished about 2/3 of the brownie and had to leave the rest because I ran out of room. It was properly delicious though and highly recommended.   I think they only serve one pud so if you don’t like chocolate things then it isn’t for you…but mm…this was most delightful. High five to RWB for this delicious creation. I wonder if they make the brownie in house? Yum.

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Over all we had a nice meal at Randy’s and it was a good experience to try somewhere new. I’d like to pop back to try a few bits when the restaurant is more settled and everything is fully up and running and to give the chips another crack. The portion of chips was massive and I would love to try them hot and softer! I think this place has a lot of promise and the location by the canal is great too (I am still thinking forward to Summer!) but it does need a few important tweaks. Sort the chips and crispen the chicken and you will have a return customer for sure.

Update: I see the chips have been changed! HUZZAH!! I definitely need a trip back to this chicken haus now!

Forked by Stefpuff


Instagram/Twitter: @randyswingbar

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