What: New York-style chicken wing brand The Orange Buffalo, which specialises in serving what it believes are ‘the hottest wings in town’.
Who: Nick White and Mike So, who wanted to bring a flavour of the US back to the UK following a road trip that saw them enamoured by the rough and ready cuisine found in the country’s many dive bars. Operating out of a food truck and making all of the hot sauces themselves (there are currently six listed on the menu), the pair launched The Orange Buffalo in Shoreditch’s Truman Brewery back in 2012, and later expanded to Hoxton. The brand went on to win the Double Award at London’s first Wingfest a year later, and in 2016 was named the Best Loved Restaurant prize at the Time Out Love London Awards.
The food: Befitting its US heritage, the food is big, loud and can be quite messy. The menu features an expanded menu of burgers and wings, with vegan cauliflower ‘wing’ options also available, which can be served with up to two of the brand’s house-made sauces. They include The Original, made with Dutch chillies; Woof Woof, made with scotch bonnets, Dutch chillies and naga; and The Viper, which has a 1m+ scoville rating and comes with a disclaimer that customers must sign on ordering.
The vibe: Not quite the dingy dive bar look you may expect, the appearance is trendy and modern with a couple of large graffiti displays, an unobtrusive colour scheme of grey and browns, and both bar and table seating available.
And another thing: Opening next to a McDonald’s and across the road from a KFC, competition is going to be fierce for the Orange Buffalo boys. But both Nick and Mike are confident their new restaurant will be a success, with the pair already in talks with Whitney Myrus, the man behind the UK franchise of both The Halal Guys and Eggslut, to roll the concept out across the country.