Thursday, 16 August 2007



Several years ago I did a summer exchange to Hong Kong - definitely one of the best times of my life. I saw China, bargained in the markets, and ate 'gai yik' (Cantonese for chicken wings - a very important word for me to learn while I was there). But what really made the whole trip was the people I met while I was on the exchange. I affectionately refer to them as my Hong Kong friends, and we had quite the adventures travelling, exploring and having a lot of fun.

Since then, we have tried to get together at least once a year for a reunion. At the heart of the reunions have been food: pot lucks, the Keg, Korean bbq etc. The last reunion was a few months ago, and the topic of the Lord of the Wings blog came up. Excited by chicken wings, we decided we would get together later in the summer and head off to a wing joint that Jeremy had been to, and I have heard about, but due to its location in Thornhill (North Toronto) I had never been able to get to. Well tonight was the reunion, and off to All Star Wings and Ribs we went.

L-R: Karen, Jeremy, Mark, Katherine, Eric, Vitra (aka chee seen Vitra)


STYLE: breaded, deep fried
SAUCES: over 100 different sauces & types
SIZE: 1 /2
HEAT: 8.5 (I think 20 for my compatriots) /10
PRICE: 10 wings - 1 flavour $7.95,
20 wings - 1 flavour $13.45,
30 wings - 1 flavour $20.45,
50 wings - up to 3 flavours (20/20/10) $30.45
100 wings - up to 4 flavours (25’s) $55.45
SIDES: celery and dip 2/7
WING NIGHT: Monday - buy 10 get 15
OTHER/SPECIAL: wing bucket
TOTAL: 26.5/35

We ordered 100 wings (split into 4 different flavours) and ordered another 10 of H-Bomb.

This sauce reminded me of "Home of the Brave" from the OWN, with a spicy butter-hot sauce taste, but a more syrup like sauce than regular hot sauce. It had a bit of a bite, and this was my favourite in terms of flavour, but everyone else felt this was the most 'boring' wing.

I know I know, not a real chicken wing. I refused to try it.
It was, however, the most popular with our crowd.

What a great name! A very unique flavour combo of hot
sauce and honey mustard. Starts of with the sweet flavour
with the heat kicking in a little bit later.

Dry style of wings, with a zesty blast of lemon. Unique, but we all
agreed you really couldn't eat a lot of these because they were dry.

I asked for their Armageddon, the hottest on their charts, waivre required wings. They were out. A roar of 'owwwww' came out. Asked if the second level of heat, The "H" Bomb was available. It was. No waivre, but definitely some heat. The following is the reactions to the
brave people who tried these along with me.

WK: Very similar to Duff's Death Sauce, this sauce had a lot of flavour (but I wasn't a huge fan). It did have a strong, slow burn that is deceptively weak at first, then it kicks in with a
vengeance. I felt a burn in my throat, some tingling in the mouth, but I have had hotter.

ERIC: The first brave soul to try these wings. He pretty much jumped right into them - only to suffer the atomic blast from the wings. It didn't take long for the tears to swell, the face to go red, and the pain to kick in - but it did take a while for it to go away. "I've never had food burn my lips before."

MARK: Didn't see the pain coming. He went from waiting for it to being hot, to "oh god", to banging the table in pain (thats a good sign of heat, banging the table).

JEREMY: Split a wing with Karen. He removed all the chicken/skin from the bone to take it all in one go. He played with it to avoid actually eating it, until peer pressure got the best of him. This was slow - a few mouth smacks, which turned to the dry burn coming up the throat, to burning the mouth. The above picture shows the exact moment it went from 'interesting' to 'ow'.

KAREN: She took the strategy of breaking her wing into 3 different parts to ration the pain. Her smaller pieces led to a much smaller doses of pain, but by the third piece she was dousing it in ranch to mask the heat.

Vitra, our 'ma fun' non-wing eating friend went for some calamari wings, Greek salad, and "garlic parm fries." The fries tasted amazing, almost like Caesar sauce but just good fries covered in Parmesan cheese and garlic. So good!

Katherine was happy to try all the wings, except The 'H' Bomb, which she wisely avoided - valuing her life and the pain receptors in her mouth.

The wings themselves were a medium sized wing, not too small, not overly large. They are breaded, deep fried, then tossed in the sauce of choice. With over 100 flavours, there is soo much to choose from. Unfortunately, with so many to choose from, neither the menu nor the website gave any explanation to what flavour they held. Scorpion Kiss sounded cool, but we had no idea it was honey mustard/hot sauce. I wish it was much closer to this place to try so many other options. What was really surprising was how packed this place was on a Wednesday night - it wasn't even wing night!

We ordered 110 wings between the 6 of us (Vitra had no wings). In the end, we had devoured just over 90 wings. What a feat! You can see from the giant bucket, or pail (no wimpy wing bowls here) that we filled more than half way, we enjoyed eating the wings.

FINAL SCORE: So if you make it waaay up North, definitely check it out. They are a bit strict with splitting sauces up with orders considering you want to try at least 30 different kinds in one go. But a decent sized wing, interesting flavours and some good friends, you're going to like it here too. As for the Hong Kong crew, I don't know when we will meet up again, but its guaranteed to involve some good food, and a great time. 26.5/35

10720 Yonge Street (another location at 11-9255 Woodbine Ave)

click HERE for a few more photos


Ricky said...

What about the ribs? I want to know about ribs too... ok I don't....but I do want to eat some wings right now (it's 10am, do you know where your wings are?)

Maria said...

I'm glad that you made it. I've heard of this place a lot of times, but being so far away I definitely can't make it.
Plus all my new diet restrictions would probably prevent me from eating wings, real wing sauce has butter, and I can't have butter no more :(

Lord of the Wing said...

Maria - so sorry to hear you can't have butter! Its a terrible fate for any wing lover. All Stars was good - but yes, the difficulty in getting there has always prevented me from going. We need more friends with cars.

the2scoops said...

Hi Jeff you were actually at the north end of Richmond Hill (anything north of Hwy 7). All Star is about a 5 minute drive from where I'm living. The wings are yummy, the beer cold and the waitresses cute. But yes, it's annoying they don't have a breakdown of all the flavours available to customers. Maybe even a "taste them all" collector card so you can check them off. I've always found that it's busy in there too. Ciao

Jeremy said...

I finally did the armegeddon wings last night after 2 years of excuses. needless to say, today I did nothing.

(I've done a lot of looking for a replacement joint when they closed appleby's at Danforth & Eglinton which was hands down the best wing place in Toronto) All star still doesn't compare to their wings back in the day, but given the lack of competition of st louis, wing machine or even the anchor bar, all star is probably the best wings in 300 kilometers of here.

btw. The ribs are fall off the bone tender. the only fault with them is that they don't come in wing flavours.

Helder said...

I live really close to All Stars's and this is our main wing place. Definitely a great wing place, I try and go as much as I can. As for flavors to try, the two best ones I've found are Stampede and Thai Express.

Lord of the Wing said...

Jason - thanks for clarifying the location - I'm really not familiar with anything North of bloor!

Jeremy - good job going for the Armegeddon wings! and for the heads up on ribs.

Helder - I wish I could live that close! What does Stampede flavour taste like???