Review of 'National Wing Day 2018'

When we heard about “National Wing Day” and the event being held at the Old Truman Brewery with a number of very good street vendors selling chicken wings we thought: Why not? We are both big fans of chicken wings (though a bit wimpy with regards to HOT wings) so we picked up two tickets for the eventually sold out show.

It was a bit tricky finding the place as it was not in the larger of the brewery buildings but rather across the street (with signs only immediately outside the building) but seeing the long queue to get in we knew we were in the right place. After getting through security we wandered around to see what was going on.

A large building on site had a bar and live music all night (this was a wing vendor-free zone) while a large outdoor area at the back was where a number of chicken wing street vendors were parked up…the place was jammed with people.

We spent most of our evening going from queue to queue, eating the wings from one stall while waiting in the queue for another which turned out to be an effective use of our time as it was only on from 4pm to 10pm and we arrived at about 7pm while the party was in full swing but, thankfully, all of the stalls were still open (they sold out as the evening went on).

A large trailer in the corner served alcohol but we only picked up drinks later in the evening preferring to try as many wings as we could during our visit (as it was a Thursday and since wings were the order of the day drinking did not seem to be too high a priority for punters). All wings were £1 each with most vendors selling two different flavours though some several more.

We visited several vendors:

  • We Serve Humans (Best Buffalo Wing, Judges Choice 2017) - Probably the slowest queue but worth the wait. There were two flavours on offer - “Buffhello” (hot wings, of course) and “Leyton Oriental” (sticky wings). We had some of the “Buffhello” which were absolutely amazing that despite the hot sauce still maintained the deep fried crunch of the chicken. The sauce (topped with bacon dust) had a way of catching up to you and after 3-4 it was getting hard going…oh so good. They were sold out at about 8:00 pm.

  • BBQ Dreams - Serving “Adobo Glazed Chicken Wings” and “Satay Wings” the best part of this was the toppings that were heaped onto the wings. Both were very mild (despite the occasional pepper slice in the toppings) with the (peanuty) satay quite an odd but pleasant taste.

  • True Devil Wings (@truedevilwings) - Serving four flavours: “Garlic Buffalo”, “Heaven & Hell”, “Reaper” and “Prince of Darkness” this group seemed stressed to the max working out of their very small van with mess everywhere. Probably the most disappointing of all of the wings we tried the two flavours we had: Garlic Buffalo and Reaper seemed to, bizarrely, taste the same. Maybe they were just having a bad day…

  • Buffalo Joe's - Serving “Buffalo Wings” and “Gotcha Wings” (“Sweet and sticky wings, sesame seeds, spring onion, red chille (sic), wasabi peas, wasabi mayo, korean red pepper”) from the interior of a cramped van this was a labour of love as orders were taken for each batch of wings before they emerged from the frier then names called to pick up orders. The buffalo wings were good but the “Gotcha Wings” were amazing - Full of texture and flavour and, surprisingly, not very hot. Really tasty.

The first place we visited (the one with the shortest queue at the time as we were starving by this point) which I cannot recall the name of offered “Korean Hot Wings” and “Tonkatsu Wings” which were OK but not amazing though my companion rated them quite highly. I just didn't think they were all that special.

When leaving the venue we were each given a bottle of “Frank's RedHot Sauce” which was a nice touch.

All in all, a really tasty evening though very crowded with very little in the way of ambience. Would have been nice to have been on a weekend and/or over several days (perhaps in a warmer time of the year though my companion suggested that perhaps this time of the year is better for “heart warming” comfort food…) - From the crowds it looks like they could have filled the place no matter what! If this comes around again be sure to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale and be sure to get the venue early to make sure you are able to grab the best wings before they sell out…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2018-03-22

The Old Truman Brewery

Location: London (England)

Address: 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Liverpool Street NRLOGO Shoreditch High Street Station


The Old Truman Brewery is the site of a number of trendy shows and events in recent years. Located midway along the Brick Lane market it is ideally placed with the ground floor often given over to street food vendors. Public transport to the area is difficult and generally involves a bit of a walk but it is generally worth the trip.