177 Russell St, Melbourne CBD
Phone: 9663 6555
There seems to be a proliferation of new Chinese barbecue places in the last few months: Chinese Spicy and Barbie Kitchen, Crazy Wing and a new Oriental BBQ joint in Footscray to name a few. They seem to be influenced by Northern Chinese cuisine, and the grilled goodies come out on skewers, usually rubbed with spice mixes that are heavy on the chilli and/or cumin. I’m all for them, because food is always better on a stick. Roasting a pig? Better on a spit.
@thatjessho, @eatnik, @eatnik’s cousin and I went to try out Crazy Wing recently, because not only is the place all about food on a stick, it’s about chicken wings on a stick. And if you don’t like chicken wings, there’s probably something wrong with you. Or you’re a vegetarian. Or both.
Crazy Wing runs similarly to a hotpot place. You’re presented with an order form at the table, on which you fill in the items you want. I’m fairly sure you can add to that later, but we were already a little greedy in our ordering, so there was no need to find out if that was an option.
We started off with some ‘blotch’ soup. That’s the other thing I love about these places. The translations are invariably hilarious. It was basically a vegetable and egg flower soup, with little lumps of dough in it. It sounds worse than it was. I wasn’t a huge fan – it tasted of nothing – but @eatnik quite liked it, and @thatjessho did not. It’s a pretty big bowl though – we syphoned it off into four little bowls – so it might actually be good for dousing flames. You’ll understand later.Because we were all starving, we ordered some cold dishes, and true to expectation, they arrived at the table quickly. The cucumber with garlic was awesome. Very garlicky, but I think the sauce had been cooked and then cooled, because the garlic didn’t have an overly raw taste to it. Note to self: order more of this next time.We hoed into the Chinese cabbage and chilli before I had a chance to take a photo, but that’s just a testament to how good it was. It’s essentially kim chi, but it was a bit sweeter, and had less of a vinegar flavour to it.Then the grilled stuff started to arrive. There’s a wooden tray in the middle of the table, and the waitresses walk around the restaurant clutching bundles of grilled stuff on skewers which they dump on the tray. It’s all very practical, and I’m sure it saves them a lot of washing up. The first items to hit the tray were tripe, chicken livers and enoki mushrooms wrapped in bean curd skin. Out of these, I’d go the chicken livers again, but the other two weren’t that great. Despite having had them at Chinese Spicy and Barbie Kitchen and here, I’m still not sold on grilled enoki mushrooms. I much prefer them in soup or a stir fry. I feel they just end up a bit stringy when you grill them.Then came the grilled pork intestines. These were a-MAZ-ingly good. If you like offal, run, don’t walk, people. I mean if there’s an offal-on-a-stick Holy Grail, this is most likely it. The intestines were well seasoned, and grilled so they were just cooked; they were soft rather than chewy, and had a nice char to the outside.Chicken hearts and chicken gizzards were next, which were alright, but a little dry and overcooked, I thought. Then came some calamari, which tasted good, but was a little rubbery. I think perhaps a thicker part of the squid would have been better?Then came the onslaught of wings. It was a Tuesday night, so the 2-for-1 deal – there’s a different one every night – was the Honey Spicy Wing. So we ordered four. Our original intention was that by ordering four, they’d charge us for two. Of course, they interpreted this as us ordering four, and so we got eight serves. With two wingettes in a serve, that was sixteen Honey Spicy chicken wings. Lucky they’re pretty great! I could eat these things for days. Oh yeah, there’s some grilled capsicum under there, too. It was a bit raw, which is to say, kind of gross.Of course, we had to try the signature ‘Crazy Wing’. I’d read that they were intolerably spicy, but of course, that sort of talk just egged us on. We ordered two serves, so we could each try one wing.@eatnik’s cousin and Jess gave up after a single taste, it was that insanely – crazily – spicy. Jess labelled it “offensive”, and claimed to have seen God. I found them stupidly, uncomfortably, and insultingly hot, but funnily enough, the only thing which seemed to make it tolerable, was to eat more. I had run out of soya bean drink by then, you see. So I finished my wing, but I don’t think I’d eat another one soon, unless someone dared me to for money. Because putting things in my mouth for money is how I roll, right?Some grilled Chinese leeks and scallops with garlic also helped with the residual heat… as did grilled bread. Unfortunately, this wasn’t as soft, or sweet, as I was expecting. I’d definitely go back to Crazy Wing, not the least because there’s what seems to be a secret upstairs BBQ buffet. We couldn’t figure out if it was just a staff dining room, or if there was a Crazy Wing club that you could be initiated into – presumably by eating multiple Crazy Wings – before you were allowed to grill your own stuff-on-a-stick.Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Don’t bother about the eggplant. It’s worse than the capsicum.