Now how many people get excited to go to a school cafeteria, let alone for Chicken Wings? Well in the case of my residence dorm, I am, and I had a few people with me who agree.
Justin & Yashi enjoyin the wings
Jane, just happy to be there
The Chestnut Tree is the cafeteria for my residence, 89 Chestnut (there is a real lack of imagination in naming things). Formerly the main restaurant of the hotel, our Caf now serves the best food in any university I've ever been to. Why is that? For beginners we have a master Chef (Jaco Lokker) in charge of making restaurant grade food for nearly 1000 students, and Chef's like Nathan who's special attention to detail and care make a great product. And the wings are definetly one of my favourites in the caf.
Now unfortunately, for those of you who don't live in rez with me, you're not going to sample these wings; but I can tell you what you are missing. Now a cafeteria is difficult to put into a review because its an all-you-can-eat meal plan, so no prices, its basically a buffet, and no service. But we will give it a go.
SIZE of WINGS: small to medium
HEAT: difficult to explain, see review below
WET NAP FACTOR: 2/5, not much sauce overall
PRICE: included in rez fees, so it feels free basically. About 5 wings in an order.
SAUCE CHOICE: bbq/spicy with spicy sauce (see below review for explanation)
SIDES: fries on the plate, but technically what ever you want at the buffet
WETNAP: none, but unlimited napkins
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED, BATTERED: seasoned, baked then tossed in sauce
WING NIGHT: BBQ/Spicy wings are Wednesday Night of Week 3 Rotation (of a 5 week rotation) there is a Honey Garlic wing lunch on Thursday of Week 5, but loyal readers know the deal with honey garlic
OTHER: all you can eat, and when is that not good!?
I have to start off by saying that although the wings are good, they were done better at the start of the year when they were crispier and the sauces were better defined. A regular order is 5 wings with wedge fries. On nights like tonight, fries are just filler, and I want killer, so I started off with a double order of Spicy and a regular order of BBQ. Later, another double order (see pile of bone pics below).
As you can see above, the wings are spiced, then baked, which is healthier to the regular deep fry, but also allows the caf to produce much more wings for so many students. The wings are great on their own, especially for a cafeteria, but there is more to wings than seasonings.
The sauce. Aye, there's the rub. You see the choices of BBQ (which is not the more classic bbq they had earlier in the year) is lacking, and Spicy, well spicy was seasoned, and on the side they had a butter-hot sauce to pour on (but I am not a fan of this weak sauce). I know I cannot get the wings of the heat level I prefer, because the caf has to cater to the needs of everyone, and despite many people's claims to be able to eat spicy, they cannot. Now the caf has various hot sauces like Tobasco, Trinidadian, and Vietnamese red sauce with the Rooster (I dont know the name!),but I brought my own hot sauce, 3rd Degree (a review will come later on that one).
In the end, while I might be a bit more critical, these wings are truly a crowd pleaser, and being all you can eat, with all you can drink coke, how can I stay mad at these wings? Thumbs up!
The Chestnut Tree
89 Chestnut Street