Last Wednesday night, I drank two bottles of wine and got about three hours sleep. On Thursday, I wasn’t feeling or looking so hot. Thanks to the magical powers of make up and my increasing ability to put together actual adult outfits that don’t involve sportswear, I managed to leave the house for my lunch date and generally be in public in an acceptable way despite my killer hangover. I think what I found in the pub that day was a real life hangover cure.
FYI – sub par photography game in this post, I get the shakes real bad when I’m hungover (not kidding, so so bad) and I was borrowing my friend’s phone to take them because mine is broken. Not that I’m a total mess or anything.
I’d been gagging to try this lunch deal at The Orange Buffalo (kitchen situation down at The Joker) since I saw Rosie and Jenna banging on about it a few weeks back, they really made that chicken look good. After I paid a little bit more attention to this place, it became clear that they’re renowned for making chicken look – and, obvi, taste – really f*ucking good. Lesson learned: take Rosie and Jenna’s recommendations very very seriously.
This is their first legit kitchen, having started out in a permanent food truck (which is still standing) in Shoreditch. I’m not well versed in London food stuff, but I feel like that probably makes them pretty cool. Also, their wings won the London Wing Fest ‘chicken wing showdown’ where the competition is likely to have been fierce af.
I actually hadn’t been down to The Joker before. If I’m going to the pub, it’s either in my own neighbourhood or closer into town, so I’d missed out on the fact that this place got achingly cool in a good way after Circus Circus shut down. It’s super spacious and decked out in a very Brighton way whilst managing to also be dead cosy. Plus, they played Arcade Fire and old school MGMT while I ate my wings. I’m not kidding, I love it in here. In fact, I’ll probably be down for coffee and some working just so that I can type that wi-fi password out.
Despite being a Wednesday lunchtime, it was at least half full, mostly with suited up or at least smart casual tables. It seems the wings + curly fries + beer deal is a real winner amongst people who can get out of work for an hour to eat out.
Neither the menu nor the website mentions the welfare of the chicken they use, and in my experience a place will be screaming it at the top of their voice if they’re using top quality meat. Unfortunately for chickens, whether or not the wings are free range or organic makes little to no difference to the taste, so to most people it’s gonna be a non issue. This is why I love Troll’s so much, they go so far as to visit the farms their animals come from to kick the tyres and check how everything is being done – but I talk about them all the time, let’s go at this chicken.
I went for BBQ because I’m a pussy when it comes to spice. I hovered over the Vincent because I was feeling that mango pulp vibe, but my friend quickly brought me down to earth with the scotch bonnet part of that equation and I chose my usual. Maybe one day I’ll be braver. It’s so unlikely.
These wings are 100% the best I’ve had in Brighton. That’s not been an extensive data sample as yet, but god damn these are gonna take some topping. Crispy skin, tender meat, dreamy sauce. All wing elements were covered and my hangover was pretty much put to bed. It was a great afternoon. Oh, also..
I’m adding The Joker to my list of ‘pubs what do food’ that I will eagerly recommend to visiting friends, nestled alongside The Hobgoblin. I recommend you do the same.
The Orange Buffalo at The Joker, 2 Preston Road, BN1 4QF