Before I jetted off to Europe for a few weeks vacation, my friend took me to House of Wings for a farewell dinner. The small and minimalist restaurant is located up on the HBC Ogeori. Over the past year the streets up on top of the hill have been starting to get some seriously cool and niche places to eat like Sprout, The Royal Food & Drink, and 100 Food Truck.I have also seen a rooftop bar which I seriously need to investigate upon my return.
The restaurant is owned by John, a chef whom I had been introduced to a few weeks ago at Ryan’s Rooftoop Pop Up event. As he cooked us each dish he explained to me the principles that he strives to abide by, choice of ingredients based on sustainability, professionalism, and simplicity. He also uses only domestic fresh ingredients in his food and organic wherever possible. This is a style of cooking that I have always appreciated and it’s refreshing to find a chef with such great core vales.
The first thing we tried were the Pomme Frittes (4,000). I adore chips, in fact I consider them to be one of the major food groups, so I was very excited when these got brought out, in fact I’m pretty sure I squealed with delight. It has been a long time since I’ve seen potato looking that good in Korea. I’d always thought that the potatoes weren’t up to scratch, but clearly that isn’t the case, these babies were incredible. Crisp on the outside, soft in the middle, hand cut potato goodness. Served with homemade aioli, the only thing I could say is that I want to order 100 portions, but at only 4,000 a go it’s super affordable to do so!
Next up was the Calamari (8,000). Served with John’s spicy sauce. I consider myself a rather strange human being as I really don’t like squid, even the thought of it kind of makes me a gag a little, but I love calamari. To be honest if you battered and deep fried a smelly old sock I would probably eat it. Anyhow the calamari we tried and it was in-freaking-credible. Crispy outside, not in the least bit chewy or rubbery, the sauce complimented it perfectly and it had a nice wedge of lemon on the side. If you want to make it a set you can add a glass of wine for an extra 4,000 too.
Now let’s get to the important part, the wings. Currently there are three flavours, Buffalo, Seoul, and No City (no sauce) but John told me he plans to a few more city sauces over the next few months. All the wings are priced at 7 for 6,000. Factoring in the fact that these are fresh local chicken wings and not the cheap ass frozen ones that come from China they are actually exceedingly good value. First up was the buffalo, John cooked the wings and then shook them up the old fashioned way inside a jar. The sauce was vinegary, yet had a nice mild kick, perfect for buffalo. Served with creamy ranch and celery sticks, this is exactly how you want your wings to be.
Our second set were the Seoul wings, which were covered in a slightly sweet and sticky honey sauce with just a touch of garlic and a tiny hint of spice. I’m a sweet sauce lover and these were perfection for me, I enjoyed the buffalo but the sweet version would just make it easier to devour more. The wing itself was crispy and the white meat was juicy and came clean away from the bone. You can tell by looking at them that these aren’t frozen and you can taste it too.
Also on the menu there are some crispy spicy shrimps and chicahornas – deep fried chicken skin, perfect beer food. And if you sit overlooking the kitchen it is a great spot to chill out in this heat and watch the world go by. As the kitchen is a one man operation, all of the drinks are self-service, which adds to the homey, chilled out vibe. I love what John is doing and I really hopes he continues with his no additives and sustainability policy. This is a perfect restaurant for the HBC area and I hope that it gets lots of support from the community.
House of Wings is located at 67, Sowol-ro 20 gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul . The easiest way to get there is to jump the number 2 local green bus just across the street from Noksapyeong station (Line 6) exit 2. Then ride the bus through HBC all the way to the top of the Haebangchon Ogeori. Walk down the road by Tous Les Jours and you will see it on your left a couple hundred metres along. For more information you can call them on 070-8872-9123 or check out their facebook page.