Plenty of places in Melbourne do good chicken wings. But Brother Burger’s new wing menu (available in both Fitzroy and South Yarra) pushes the bounds of what we previously thought should (or should not) go on chicken – with pleasantly surprising results.
Plus, the team has never done wings before. We liked the look of its debut menu so much we tried every item on it. Here’s how they rank.
8. Smoky BBQ Wings
Nothing wrong with these. They’re exactly what barbeque wings should be – rich and savoury with a vinegary accent. If you were sitting down with a few kilos to really pig out on, they’d be the ideal choice. But they’re also pretty familiar compared with everything else on the list.
7. BB’s Buffalo Wings
Until age 10, I thought buffalo wings came from buffalos. Turns out, the vinegar, cayenne pepper and butter sauce was actually invented in the town of Buffalo, New York. These are an excellent rendition of that classic creation, bar the blue-cheese dipping sauce, which could be pongier. Again, though, they’re quite familiar.
6. Wing Chun
Now we’re getting somewhere. These taste like something Andrew McConnell might put together for Supernormal or Ricky & Pinky. Some XO sauce imparts a strong umami backbone. Then there’s a subtle nuttiness from toasted sesame seeds, and the slightly numbing burn of Sichuan peppers.
5. Wasabee Wings
Wasabi inhalation is up there with brain freeze in the category of “unpleasant food mishaps”. There’s no chance of that here. The wasabi is first mixed through sour cream, resulting in a mild, vivid-green, yoghurt-like concoction. If you’re smart you’ll top each wing with a slice of pickled ginger for a sweet, herbaceous party in your mouth.
4. Bogan Wings
Wings coated in bourbon and Coke. Moving right along.
3. GTFO Wings
The GTFO Wings are loaded with the hottest chilli in the world, the Carolina Reaper. You’ll either love ‘em or hate ‘em. We’re in the former camp. The heat takes a while to hit, giving you a chance to savour the chicken. For a few minutes that’s all you’ll taste. But then, bam! You’re in a state of beautiful, sweaty, delirious bliss.
2. PB&J Wings
Like Wing Chun, these are Asian-inspired and have a satay-style peanut paste matched with tangy plum sauce. Sure, the Smoky BBQ Wings would be the best pick for a wing-eating competition, but these are hands-down the most moreish choice on the menu.
1. Wingz Fizz
Sherbet. Sherbet on a bloody chicken wing. First you get to squeeze the lime over the top and laugh like a three-year-old watching the resulting bubbles. Then you actually get to bite into the thing and taste the more grown-up balance of citrus, bitter marmalade and moist chicken. And for that mix of nostalgia and genuine good taste, they’re number one.
Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew
413 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Brother Burger South Yarra
560 Chapel Street, South Yarra