Panda Peeks – Wingman
Invented in a bar in New York, Buffalo wings are usually deep-fried chicken wing section, unbreaded, and coated with hot sauce and butter. It’s been gaining attention for a while now especially in millennials who see this American recipe as a filling comfort food. So let me share with you a place I discovered where you can surely get satisfying and mouth-watering chicken wings. Forget Batman-Robin and Mario-Luigi tandems because I’ve just found you your perfect Wingman!
It was a Friday and my body was craving for a chill night out that would take away a week load of stress. I was then invited by a few friends to a place that, according to them during that time, offers the best tasting chicken wings; a place worthy of my TGIF moment, Wingman. When we got there, I noticed that the interior is actually inspired by the concept of “wing-man”, a term referring to a plane flying beside a lead plane in an aircraft formation. Planes and other military crafts surround the restaurant. Giant mugs and beer bottles are lined up on the mini bar manned by a laughing, big guy. Ice cold beer plus spicy chicken wings sounded like just what I needed that time.
We easily got a table for our group since another group just left when we arrived. That was God telling me that I’m going to have an awesome weekend (kidding!). Browsing their menu was even a greater delight as I noticed that do not only just serve different flavors of chicken wings but they also have the whole fleet of comfort food from burgers to sandwiches to tacos, fries, and even salads! Since the place is already packed with people desperate to taste the wings and gulp it down with some few drinks, we found out that the owner was also helping to serve his awesome creations. Yep, the owner is also the one behind all their completely original flavors and other menu items. As he passed by our table, I couldn’t help but get his attention and ask him a few questions about how he came up with the store concept and menu. Plus, I just really wanted to thank him for satisfying us, devout chicken minions! We got surprised when he sat with us and started telling us the interesting story on how Wingman was created and how he started as a businessman. He’s Australian and his name is Erik Waldie.
I was really impressed with all of what he has achieved at such a young age. He’s been to every corners of the world and every trip has its own story to tell but the most memorable would be the time when he learned everything about managing a restaurant in his very own hometown. “One time in Australia, I saw a restaurant that was under construction and I immediately thought that they’re going to need some staff. I applied and got the job. I was there from the time that the restaurant was built, when it was in full operation, until the time that we sold it,” says Erik. He came to the Philippines, got married here, and decided to put up his own business while continuing his passion for cooking. That, my friends, was when our favorite Wingman came to life.
From a humble chicken wing place that was just surrounded with blank white walls and monoblock chairs and tables in Malugay, Makati back in 2010, the brand has now expanded to Acacia Estates in Taguig by working hard on its concept, menu, and service (successfully leaping through 7 years in the food business is fairly difficult, dear!). As the name suggests, Wingman, in social connotation, is a buddy that always got your back and that’s what this restaurant is all about. Their chicken wings and other menu pieces act as an ultimate comfort food. Certainly, the most perfect wingman for me!
After our mini chitty chat with the owner, our order finally arrived and I was surprised on how huge and plenty our order was. I wasn’t even sure at first if the 3 of us could finish all of those, but we managed to (Yep, we did!) and we really enjoyed it! We ordered the Charlie Squadron meal which consists of 2 dozens of wings with 4 different flavors, cheese quesadilla, iron skillet queso, 2 sides of your choice and 8 mugs of draft beer or iced tea/blue lemonade for free. Erik also suggested to try their new flavor of chicken wings which is the Morrocan Chermoula and I can’t wait to tell you how tasty it is!
First, let us drown ourselves in the world of chicken wings by Wingman. Just by looking at those wings, my chest went pounding like crazy because of excitement and I’m not even exaggerating. That’s how much I love chicken wings. We chose the Classic Buffalo (Hot), Garlic Parmesan which I believe is a classic that has a really juicy and crunchy texture, Honey Dijon which has a sweet and sour type of sauce and Prairie Fire as part of our Charlie Squadron meal. Every flavor is to die for! The inside of every wing is very juicy and weren’t undersized but are just perfect and enough to fill my hungry belly. Their sauces really taste perfect since all of it are made fresh daily and from authentic and high quality ingredients. Their Classic Buffalo is perfection. The flavor is very rich and the kick of spiciness really sent my taste buds dancing. The secret to this classic? Frank’s hot sauce! A sauce like no other according to the owner. It’s the same sauce being used where this recipe originated, Buffalo, New York.
Next is the Moroccan Chermoula wings which I was really curious about since Wingman is the first restaurant that offers this flavor. Erik concocted the sauce after his trip to Morocco. It is an exotic mix of North African Spices traditionally used to flavor fish or seafood. This easily became my personal favorite! It’s a little spicy and flavorful because of all the spices that were used.
The cheese quesadilla tasted and smelled so good since it was served hot! I am really a fan of every meal that has cheese. Their quesadilla has 3 types of cheese, tomato, promodoro sauce with tomato salsa and sour cream. The sour cream balanced the taste of the cheese. The bread is also not that thick which I actually like since I wanted to taste the filling more. Honestly speaking, I feel like I can finish this in one sitting.
The star of my Wingman night, the Iron Skillet. Again, Cheese! The dip is a bit spicy but has a balanced taste of saltiness. It is also served with crunchy tortilla chips. I recommend this to those who are looking for a perfect pulutan for chill nights. It’s good for sharing (But I’d rather eat it by myself lol!) and is perfect with ice cold beer.
We chose their Curly twists and Shoe string fries as sides for our squadron meal. These are good when you’re done devouring all the mains and you’re just left with the beer bottles! It’s good for it was not swimming in oil like any other fries; the same with their shoe string fries which was super crunchy that you won’t mind munching on it all day long.
It was indeed a great welcome to the weekend. Truly, Wingman is living up to their name, be it a plane in an aircraft formation, a place that offers wings (well obviously, WING-man), and a place where you can enjoy your favorite comfort food with your friends. Thanks to the ultimate wingman, Erik, for making our favorite chicken wings way bad ass!
Open from 11am – 2am at:
- The collective Makati, Malugay, Makati City
- Lower ground floor, Casa Real, Acacia Estates Town Center, Acacia Ave, Taguig City