Wednesday, 24 January 2018

KELL's KITCHEN ~ Cornwall ON


Sometimes you just need to take a chance. The following story is about my first time going here, but I am reviewing for 2 particular visits.

Finding myself in Cornwall every few months, I'm always looking for some wings. I guess I do that everywhere I go, but I digress. Scouring the internet, a place called Kell's Kitchen kept popping up and the online menu seemed to suggest they had some good wings, so I decided to check them out. 

On a side street strip mall (with hotel looking apartments above?), Kell's was a little hard to spot - as in it didn't stick out among the other shops. Once I figured out it was under the sign waaaaay up above, I walked in and questioned if I was in the right place. The only seating was a beat up old couch, there was stuff piled everywhere, and there was a crowded little counter with a cash register. It was clear this was just a take-out joint. I was not impressed and thought I might just leave, but I soldiered on.

Kell's has a big menu - everything from sandwich and wraps, pizza, burgers/hot dogs, nachos etc. I was interested in the very large chicken wing menu. A young guy came up from the unseen kitchen and I asked him about the wings. He was very passionate about them, answering questions and giving advice about the wings. I felt much more confident about ordering because there seemed to be a love and respect for the chicken.

We talked about the wings for a few minutes. I was trying to determine what I was going to get. I like that they do describe for the most part what each wing is from the funny name (ie Pee-Wee is Medium, Honeymoon is a dry rub). I was sold on the Drop The Gloves suicide, with the counter guy indicated that these were not just Frank's and cayenne pepper but was a house blend of spices and sauce made with love. On my second visit, I went with Bobcaygeon.

I ordered the wings and 15 minutes later, I had the round tin pan with plastic covering. I had never seen a container like this for wings, but I like it. It also weighed a ton and smelled like a 1000 spices. I was excited.

Unless you get a combo with fries, the smallest order you can get is 15. When one reads that, I immediately assumed I was getting 15 tiny wings. I also did not expect that the wings would come breaded.

The size of these wings were jumbo. Length wise they were large, but the meat factor on these suckers was clearly jumbo. Yes they were breaded which added to the size, but these are some of the meatiest wings I've ever had. Some were a little tough, but for the most part, these wings came apart at the bone pretty easily.

Describing the wetness of these wings is not easy. The sauces that are on these are thick. You are not getting a thin hot sauce, but a thick, rich, homemade concoction. The sauce sticks to the wings like a sticky hug that doesn't let go. This also makes the wings a strange soggy yet crunchy texture, because the deep fried breading creates a barrier that stays crunchy, but is soggy at the same time. It sounds so weird, but it works.


As I said above, these wings had a strong smell of spices. They smelled hot, they looked hot. They were hot, but they weren't suicide.

I don't know how to describe the flavour - it truly was like no wings I had ever had before. There was a chili spice flavour, but also these levels of savory and richness. There was a buttery-ness, garlic, maybe coriander. Each bite I was experiencing a different flavour profile. I think the chef who created these is bringing South Asian/Malaysian style recipe and cooking to these wings instead of traditional North American wings, and that's a great thing.


On my second visit, I was prepared to have the suicide again, but wanted to try something different. I went with the Bobcaygeon because it fused two of my favourite wing flavours together: BBQ and Cajun.

Mixing the Cajun dry with the BBQ made for a great flavour. It too was rich and working on many levels of flavour. It was salty and garlicky, sweet, a little smokey. You really have not had a flavour like this before, even if you've had a Cajun/BBQ mix.


I am really happy that I took my chances on these wings. They have a taste all their own and the love and care in these wings is very apparent. They are jumbo, infused with levels of flavour, and sauces that are clearly homemade. Now these wings may not be for everyone: if you are looking for traditional wing tastes, or might be off-put by the strange texture of the breading/sauce, this might be too much for you. I liked them. And they are soo big, both times I ordered them I couldn't finish them in one sitting. This was a real gem. 10.5/12

Kell's Kitchen
373 Eleventh Street East, Cornwall ON

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