For the longest time Islamabad lacked a place for hot and spicy wings until just recently, Wild Wings opened its doors, filling the niche quite perfectly. Wild Wings is Islamabad’s first wing joint and its sporty ambiance has quickly established it as a hub for all young people to gather for a quick bite, a game or chitchat.
Faraz Gul and Omer Ehtisham, two friends who had recently moved back to Islamabad after living in Dubai and Canada, were disappointed that there was no place to curb their cravings for authentic wings while enjoying a sports match in the city. That is when the two decided to open up a sport lounge in Islamabad.
Set in the basement next to Roasters in F-7 Islamabad, Wild Wings has a spacious lounge with a relaxed feel, a very hip ambiance and hanging edison bulbs and basket ball hoops that bring in ‘the feel’. The brick walls and indoor plants add a very cosy touch to the space and the comfortable sofas make sure everyone enjoys to the core. There are foosball tables for anyone who wants to play a quick game till their food arrives. Wild Wings has different sections to cater to different kinds of people – there is a main lounge sporting foosball tables and 13 LED screens to feature different matches at the same time. However, there is also a less noisy area for those who are not necessarily into sports. What is most interesting is that they also host mini gigs once in a while and all these activities make a great background for a delicious meal at Wild Wings.
Their menu is diverse – they have pretty much everything like salads, burgers, pastas, flatbreads and more but one can’t really speak about their food without starting with the wings. These wings come in 17 different flavours and what more can a foodie really ask for? There is an option to choose between the traditional or the boneless wings (don’t worry if you choose traditional – they give you plastic gloves so you can indulge and enjoy properly). The size, portion and flavour can be chosen as well. Interestingly, the place also allows you to choose the hierarchy of hotness your taste buds would prefer – sweet and tangy, mild, wild and suicide. Apparently, there is a prize for anyone who can take the challenge of eating a certain number of suicide hot wings.
As someone who can’t take extreme hot flavours, I thoroughly enjoyed the honey and BBQ wings in mild flavour. I opted for boneless but they say the traditional ones are tastier. These wings are different from the classic chilli wings and have a very nice sweet and tangy taste due to the blend of honey and smoked barbeque sauce. Among the wings, the garlic Parmesan are also a must try. The wings were covered with a mild garlic paste topped with Parmesan cheese and this made for a mouth-watering finger licking combination. If you don’t like Parmesan, opt for the safer Jalapeno Cheddar Wings, which have a very balanced sauce topped with cheddar cheese.
For anyone who likes their wings spicy, the Kamikaze wings were tender, juicy and just the right level of spicy and flavourful. The tangy chilli sauce of the Kamikaze wings leaves you asking for more. If you are looking for something that will completely blow your mind away, the Nuclear Mango Habanero is made for you. These wings are a spicy mixture of a sweet mango with Habanero sauce and on paper this might not sound very appetising but it made for an incredible combination. The sweetness of these wings dissipates and what remains gives you a kick of spices. Stay away if you can’t take spicy food though.
While it is sinful to try anything apart from wings when at Wild Wings, I tried the Jamaican Jerk Burger, which was a treat as well. Served with fries and fresh coleslaw (although they can work on their fries), the burger had a fresh and soft bun with a delicious jerk sauce that would have stood out even more if the burger patty was done better. The burger would have definitely tasted even better if they had used the jerk sauce while marinating the beef patty. While it tasted good, once the sauce was devoured the patty was pretty standard.
I saw someone eat the Nacho Libre Burger, which had actual nachos on top of the burger patty. Haven’t tried it but it looked interesting, for sure. The roasted garlic pesto flatbread had a layer of perfectly roasted pesto on top of a crispy thin flatbread and made for a great quick bite.
All of this may make you feel like Wild Wings doesn’t have anything for healthy eaters but that is where you’ll be pleasantly surprised. My friend ordered the Chipotle Tex Mex and we were all pleased at its presentation above anything else. The platter has a grilled, Chipotle flavoured chicken breast, which comes with a mason jar layered with rice, vegetables and sauces. Not only was this interesting and beautiful to look at but also healthy (minus the rice) and appetising.
The prices at Wild Wings are relatively higher than what you’d expect at a casual joint – you expect wings and burgers to be a little more affordable for a younger crowd – but the taste somewhat makes up for the extra amount that comes out of your pocket. Considering the time of the year it is and the FIFA World Cup that we’re all addicted to, Wild Wings is the perfect place to hang out at. It’s got great energy so the next time you want to experience a football match, head to Wild Wings and enjoy the experience with gobsmacking food.