Asian

PARK Restaurant & Bar (Cambridge)

PARK Restaurant and Bar PARK Restaurant & Bar is the newest member of the esteemed Grafton Group restaurant family which consists of the nearby Russell House Tavern, Grafton Street Pub, and Temple Bar. Located on JFK St. in bustling Harvard Square, PARK’s vibe is the neighborhood bar and restaurant of today, offering new interpretations of classic American fare with interesting libations.

Being fans of the other restaurants in the Grafton Group family, we were excited to try the confit chicken wings with sambal and honey glaze on PARK’s menu. We’ve never seen sambal, a spicy Indonesian condiment made up primarily of red chilies, fish sauce, and garlic, used on chicken wings before.

The unique wings arrived to our table and we couldn’t help but savor the delicious Asian flavors that danced on our tongue with each bite. The wings were crispy, salty, spicy and sweet all at the same time, with just enough heat to make the back of your mouth tingle.

With the ever perennial favorite BonChon so close by, you might not go out of your way for the wings at PARK, but should you find yourself there enjoying a cocktail with a group of friends, do us a favor and order the wings. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 3.5/5 cocks

MOWMOWMOWHalfCock

 

Kowloon (Saugus)

The 1200-seat premier Asian dining complex known as the Kowloon Restaurant on Rt. 1 in Saugus is one of the largest, highest grossing Asian restaurants in the United States. Since opening in 1959, the Wong family has built their empire from a 24 seat Chinese restaurant into the kitschy, extravagant landmark that it is today.

The walls are lined with decades’ worth of autographed photos of visiting celebrities and the menu reads like a phone book, with page after page of Polynesian, Thai, Japanese, Szechuan and Cantonese fare from which to choose.

But there’s one item on the menu that interested us most, an item that pays homage to the town where Kowloon has called home for over 50 years: the Kowloon Special Saugus Wing.

Saugus Wings are known far and wide as being some of the most delicious Asian-style wings available today- so naturally we had to stop by to see for ourselves.

Flavor: Kowloon’s Saugus Wings are very liberally doused in a dark, thick, sweet, soy based sauce with large chunks of garlic visible on each wing. Forget that slogan from KFC – the Saugus Wings are the original finger lickin’ good wings – as they effortlessly blend sweet and savory flavors into each blissful bite.

Size/Texture: The wings were medium to large in size, and were cooked perfectly. They had a delicious crispy skin on the outside and tender, juicy meat on the inside.

Value: An order of Saugus Wings costs a paltry $8.75 for 10 deliciously addictive wings. We think this is a great deal considering their flavor, quality, and overall eatability factor. You really cannot find a better wing at this price point.

Overall: We very much recommend Saugus Wings for anyone who loves sweet, Asian style chicken wings. The garlic-packed sticky sauce truly turns these wings into a flavor heaven that you must experience. As far as Asian chicken wings go, these are some of the best we’ve ever had.

Final Score: 9/10

-JC

Hurricane O’Reilly’s (West End)

Located just steps away from The Garden on Canal St., Hurricane O’Reilly’s is a large sports bar that offers huge TV screens, loud music, and plenty of beer to eager Boston sports fans who flock to the area during game nights.

We stopped in one night to drink our faces off and sample the chicken wings during the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. We showed up to the game, but the Celtics didn’t, so we ordered a massive amount of chicken wings to help with the pain. Were the wings good enough to make us forget the loss?

Hurricane O’Reilly’s offers several different flavors of wings which include Buffalo, Buffalo bleu, hot & sweet, Asian sesame, and BBQ. Without much hesitation, we quickly went to town on both the BBQ and Asian sesame flavors. Each order came served with celery and carrot sticks, while only the BBQ came with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Flavor: Our wings came fried to a crispy golden color, with a thick coating of sauce crammed into each crevice. The Asian sesame wings magically blended sweet and savory flavor elements into a blissful ecstasy, while the BBQ wings tasted smoky, tangy, and sugary, leaving my taste buds wanting more.

Size/Texture: The wings were decently sized with some of the leg pieces being downright enormous. Most if not all of them were cooked perfectly, moist in the middle, crispy on the outside.

Value: There are two different size options available, a standard order for $7 or a jumbo size for $12. The jumbo size is truly gigantic, and unless you’re eating for three, stick with the standard order. Just make sure you specify which size you want when placing your order.

Overall: These wings had it all, flavor, value, texture, the works. If you’re on Canal St. and find yourself looking for a chicken wing feast, march yourself into Hurricane O’Reilly’s.

Final Score: 9/10

-JC

Wing-itz (Portsmouth, NH)

Driving back from a day trip to Maine, we decided to stop somewhere for tasty treat and luckily came across something that caught our eye. One word: Wing-itz. If you get a chance to head up to the seacoast town of Portsmouth with a wing craving, try out this local “Wing Butchery”. They use fresh, never frozen wings that are hormone and preservative-free. Bringing along a party of six, we decided to order 20 wings and 20 boneless pieces of chicken (don’t call them wings) with flavors ranging from medium buffalo, sesame oriental, honey mustard BBQ, and sweet Thai chili.

Flavor: Wing-itz has one of the largest selection of sauces around, but for review purposes, we will stick with the medium buffalo and sesame oriental. The buffalo sauce is homemade and delicious. We only ventured out into level 2 of 5 in terms of degree of hotness. However, there was still a good buffalo kick to it. For the sesame oriental, we found there to be a good level of sweetness and stickiness. Overall, very good for what you would expect in the flavor.

Size/Texture: These wings range for medium sized to fairly large. Most of the wings were cooked just right and maintained a moist texture. The wings were fried and therefore, had a nice crispy exterior which were complimented well by the tasty sauces.

Value: The price for 20 was $19.99. At about a buck a wing, it’s not the greatest deal you’re going to find, but for what you’re paying for, you won’t mind.

Overall: Wing-itz is a very solid joint that is dedicated to the wing. Their fresh chicken and variety of flavors will help fulfill any wing fantasies you desire. Overall, we would recommend trying this place out.

Final Score: 8.5/10

– CT