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Get Fired Up for Fried Chicken Wings

There is nothing like deep fried, stick-to-your-ribs chicken wings. Discover three places you should try.

When thinking about fried chicken, the idea of family owned, home-made seasoning comes to mind; food that plays on emotions and reminds one of a taste of home. Could this exist in Dongguan?

Some expat foods are difficult to find, and fried chicken is surprisingly (or not surprisingly) one of them. Of course, there is KFC and McDonald’s, but their mass market production does not make the cut. It is the same as recommending them for a good burger—you do not.

I decided to explore the city’s eateries and see if they offered anything close to this. I was surprised by the options that were out there, and the style and taste of the wings.

I focused on the two most common types of wings: original and spicy, along with the taste, texture and seasoning that came with each bite.

Like most places, you have to go in with an open mind and will, overall, be delightfully surprised. Each location offers a unique spin on a home-grown dish.

Hot and Ready

After a walk in Qifeng Park, or a shopping trip to Vanke Mall, you should go a few doors down and stop by Running Plus. Chef Leo will make sure you have a meal to remember, starting with great service.

I ordered the eight-piece wings, and they were on the table before I could even finish reading the rest of the diverse menu.

When the wings came out, they were piping hot and juicy. They were breaded just right and fried to perfection. The wings offered the correct amount of crisp with a garlic salt seasoning. The meat dripped off the bones and offered a tender texture.

I must say the thrill from biting into a wing seasoned to perfection was the highpoint of my day. Running Plus quickly ran to the top of my restaurant list in China, and I look forward to returning to further explore their extensive menu.

Overall, I give it my best recommendation for great wings and service.

Bigger is Better

Uncle Chicken, a South Korean restaurant in Yonghuating (Dongcheng Walking Street), has made a name for itself with their massive chicken wings.The tables were set with water, gloves and even dental floss—this created high expectations for what was to come.

There were plenty of flavors to choose from. I chose the original and spicy soy sauce options. After ordering, chopsticks, bowls, kimchi and rice sheets were quickly brought to the table; the kimchi was a delicious premeal snack.

Expectations were met when the wings arrived at the table. The rumors were true about the size, and I was full from just looking at them.

The original wings had a thick breading and were crispy, with a subtle spicy kick. The spicy soy sauce wings were beer battered and tossed in a signature sauce, while maintaining a crunch.

Not So Fast

Take a trip to Wanda Plaza (Dongcheng Branch), and on the corner you will find Pelicana, a Korean franchise. It is the only one in Dongguan, and possibly for a reason. There were eight different flavors to choose: original, garlic, soy, sweet, mild, spicy, cheesy and salty egg yolk, but these were mediocre compared to the other two spots.

I opted to try their original and mild wings. The eight-piece basket came with four drumettes and four wings. The original wings were breaded but not crispy, and as far as the flavor goes, it was lacking. The seasoning was relatively basic.The mild wings were tossed in a sauce and breaded, but the breading did not hold up and was not crispy.

The wings maintained more flavor than the drumettes but did not have as much meat. On the first bite, the flavor came in sweet, followed by a respectably tasty kick.

Overall, this is a place to grab a bite to eat for a snack or lunch, but do not expect the wings to come out in less than 15 minutes like the menu says.