By Koray Hussein
It’s no secret that The Orange Buffalo is one of my favourite places to eat in the whole of London. Their wings, blue cheese dressing, curly fries… everything, is top notch.
So you can imagine my reaction when I was not only told that there’s a place that does better buffalo wings than The Buffalo, but was told that there’s a place that does better better buffalo wings than the Buffalo… while eating at The Buffalo. It makes it a lot harder to tell someone they don’t know what they’re talking about whilst they’re eating what they’re talking about… That last sentence made more sense in my head.
So, I grabbed a few other friends, as well as Priya (the friend who I went to The Orange Buffalo with) and headed towards CHUCK Burger Bar; the home place of these mythical wings.
Straight off the bat, there’s one thing I have against CHUCK… It’s bloody location! I mean Hatch End? Really?! I understand that good food needs to be spread out within the city so that everybody has an amazing local but still… Hatch End is not a short journey for the majority of Londoners and I am going to selfishly and childishly complain.
The actual interior of CHUCK is pretty damn nice; striking a decent balance between a bar in the vane of How I Met Your Mother’s McLaren’s, and a hipster’s wet dream.
If you’ve read my reviews of The Coffee Jar and Daisy Green, then you know that good service is really important to me. Nobody wants to wait twenty minutes just to order a drink and if I’ve been waiting for the bill for longer thirty then that meal should legally be declared free. CHUCK Burger Bar though has some great staff. The guy serving our able ( I believe his name was Chris) was super friendly and never at any point made us feel like we were keeping him from skulking in the corner.
But all of that is only important if the food is actually tasty. Good service is all well and good but I’m not about to head back to a restaurant that serves shitty food just because the workers know how to smile… however I’ll be returning to CHUCK because their food is the exact opposite of shitty.
The buffalo wings at CHUCK Burger Bar were almost faultless. They weren’t overpoweringly tangy like certain places serve their wings and the buttermilk coating they’re fried in offers a different experience than the wings on offer at The Orange Buffalo – but I can’t backup Priya’s claims that they’re actually better than OB’s.
You have more choice at The Orange Buffalo when it comes to buffalo wings. Prefer mild wings? Go for the Original. Like your wings to come with a kick? Order the Woof Woof or the Vincent. Are you clinically insane? Then you want the Viper wings. At CHUCK though, if you want buffalo wings then you better like the one flavour that they offer which you probably will, because like I said, they’re awesome. Other than the choice of sauces though, there really is no separating the two in terms of quality.
For sides I went with the Loaded Fries which came topped with melted cheese, spring onions and jalapeños and it was about as good as it sounds (unless of course you think that sounds horrible, because they were dee-lishus!!1!) although the blue cheese dressing that comes with the wings and fries was a far cry from the cheese that The Buffalo is serving up.
For dessert, we looked no further than the deep fried Oreo’s (served with vanilla ice cream) that CHUCK had on the specials board. There were five of us and five Oreo’s so we all shared just one portion and had one each. If you’re thinking that these badboys must have been unbearably sweet (like I initially thought they would be) then you’d be completely wrong. I practically grimaced whilst taking my first bite, expecting to be kicked in the face by a big sugary boot but it never came. It wasn’t anything special however, and I doubt I’d ever have another one but still, it was not as bad as I thought it would be.
All things considered, CHUCK have some of the most amazing wings that money can buy. Are they better than wings at The Orange Buffalo? No… but they are certainly on par. Now I just have to sit and pray that CHUCK open up a branch a little closer to East London.