Chicken wings are always a safe option, no matter what cuisine you're trying or restaurant you're visiting. The dish was designed to be a side and never sufficient to anchor a meal — a proper decent meal, at least.
TGI Friday's recently launched a new dish that spotlights this all-time favorite snack, trying to convince us that it could be THE star dish.
'Wings World Tour' is a series of six styles of chicken wings seasoned and prepared in different flavors from various parts of the globe, each coming with a special dipping sauce.
First up were the Parmesan Wings, oven-roasted and flavored with a combination of parmesan cheese and herbs. When the wings arrived at the table, the skin was still sizzling while the dried herbs sprinkled on top simmered away, which gave out a pleasant aroma. Surprisingly, the actual taste was much subtler than we expected, and the Mediterranean seasoning balanced nicely with the parmesan.
Second up were the Cracked Pepper Wings, reflecting the flavor of Italy. The wings were seasoned with freshly cracked black pepper and then deep fried and finished with more pepper on top. As nuts for black pepper, we could not wait any longer to bite through the golden, flaky and crunchy surface.
The meat inside was tender and juicy, and the succulent flavor coming out every bite made us realize that this was the moment we could forget about our diets. The black pepper flavor could have been even stronger in our opinion, but then again, there is never there too much black pepper for us.
The accompanying sauce for these delicious wings was made with shallots, syrup and cider vinegar. The syrup gave a rich body to the sauce while the vinegar added the right amount of tartness. It is the taste that will split the judges, but for us, it worked a treat.
Following the pepper delight were the Jack Daniel’s Wings, a thick-sauce-covered alternative that looked finger-lickin' good. The toffee-like sticky texture was sweet yet not overly rich, leaving us wanting to get our fingers dirty again. According to the staff, this style of wings is their most-ordered option.
When we asked what was the second favorite, they brought over the Thai Honey Sriracha Wings. The wings were deep-fried, then coated with fiery sriracha sauce and garnished with jalapeno slices and chives. The clever use of honey balanced out the heat, leaving the whole thing screaming the flavor of South East Asia. Even though it is Thai influenced, this dish was not too spicy. These wings are suitable for almost anyone, even those who don’t have a high tolerance for heat.
However, if you really want to spice things up, then you should go for the number five taster: Buffalo Wings. Tossed in a spicy, tangy Buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese dressing, the dish must be one of their bolder productions. As it combines two very extreme flavors — Buffalo sauce and blue cheese — you might think yourself brave to give it a try. Their risky decision paid off as the blue cheese toned down the heat, making the two ingredients work together magically. It tasted like two archrivals finally patched things up and became the best pals in the world.
We almost couldn't wait for the finale - Sweet and Sour Wings from China. Highly palatably glazed, the wings’ smell resembled the best Chinese takeaway. Fans of Kung Pao Chicken will really not want to miss out on these wings. Fried and coated with a classic sweet and sour sauce, the dramatic flavor exploded in our mouths. Call it Kung Pao Chicken 2.0!
As for the suspicion we had at the beginning of the ‘tour,' we think we're finally convinced that wings really can be the star meal.
See listing for TGI Friday's