I’m going to throw it out there: There is no food more American than Buffalo wings.
So when you have a craving for wings, surely you want to go to the original place for wings?
Original Wings and Rings is an American chain located in DIFC. But unlike other wings chains in Dubai, this one is licensed – which is fitting since, in America, Buffalo wings are the ultimate bar snack.
And in fact, at Original Wings and Rings, you really do feel like you’re at an American sports bar. There are NFL flags hanging from the rafters, big screen TVs, plus two foosball tables and Budweiser on draft.
There even happened to be a table of cool-ass American dudes in baseball caps sitting across from me (not in this picture). Now all they need is the Packers vs. Seahawks game playing on the big screens.
The menu is a classic American sports bar menu with favourites like burgers, gyros, quesadillas, and this spinach and artichoke dip. In America, this is usually served with tortilla chips, though here they serve it with fried pita bread. It’s a creamy and cheesy concoction that you somehow just can’t seem to stop eating. And it must be healthy too, since it contains spinach and artichoke…
The eponymous “rings” comes as a huge portion of big, thickly-cut rounds of onion. On the menu, they say they are breaded though they were actually battered. Personally, I felt like the batter could have had more salt, but we enjoyed them nonetheless.
But come on. What we’re really here for is the wings.
At Original Wings and Rings, they have 10 different wing flavours which come in 5 heat levels. So that’s 50 different ways to eat your wings. However, they also have strict rules about the numbers of sauces versus the number of wings. It was a bit confusing for me as a first-timer, so let me try to recap it here:
Off the standard menu, you can choose from traditional wings (10), boneless “wings” (8), grilled chicken tenders (4) or crispy chicken tenders (4). All come with fries, though you can upgrade to fancy fries or add on more wings at an extra cost. Then you choose your flavour and heat level, but only 1 flavour per order.
However, if you’re there during happy hour, you can pay AED 3.99 per wing (with a minimum order of 4) with no fries. And for every multiple of 4, you can choose a different flavour. Well if you know anything about me by now, it’s that I like my variety (and I don’t like potatoes), so happy hour wings in multiples of 4 it was!
To help us decide which sauce to choose, they let us sample their 10 base sauces and 4 hot sauces. The one in the bottom right corner is the One Million hot sauce, for which we had to sign a disclaimer to eat. The mild version uses only the base sauce, and they mix these with the 4 hot sauces to achieve the other levels of heat.
We ordered 16 happy hour wings in 4 different flavours – the Garlic Parmesan, Sweet Curry, Crazy and Buffalo. My favourite was the Garlic Parmesan variety in the fourth highest heat level (Atomic). We’re used to chili and it was perfect for us, especially dunked into the creamy bleu cheese dressing.
Our other favourite flavour was the Sweet Curry, which we ordered mild. This sauce tastes like a Japanese curry sauce crossed with teriyaki. It’s quite sweet, but we loved the sauce so much as it was that we didn’t want any competing hot sauce flavour.
Our third batch was the Crazy flavour, a mix of Sweet BBQ and Roasted Garlic. We couldn’t say no as we were told it’s one of the most popular flavours.
If you are averse to getting your hands dirty, they’ll give you a pair of plastic gloves or you can order these “boneless wings” (though let’s be clear, they’re really just chicken chunks). We had these the classic way with the regular Buffalo flavour, medium-hot. The heat level of this was too mild for me, and the chicken chunks just don’t have the same Buffalo wing effect. Next time, I’ll skip the boneless wings and up the heat level for sure.
Since we had such a light meal, we capped it off with another classic American dessert – brownie a la mode. Mmmm.
Verdict: These wings are perfectly crispy, saucy, juicy bites of chicken wing goodness. If you want to feel like you’re in the US of A, don your baseball cap and head over to Original Wings and Rings. A great place to go with your buds, especially at happy hour (3pm to 7pm every day).
Note to self: Definitely go during happy hour. The ones to repeat – Sweet Curry (mild), Garlic Parmesan (Atomic) and Buffalo (Atomic). Bring your own celery sticks.
Original Wings and Rings
Level C, Liberty House
Dubai International Financial Centre
Tel: 04 359 6900
Chow for now!