Ever since I was offered a chance to write content that isn’t about online marketing or short-term insurance benefits, I would always take the opportunity to highlight the universe’s most comforting of foods: fried chicken. I’ve written poetry about Maadi’s Kokio; I’ve ranked Cairo’s chicken establishments in a suitably crunchy order; and I continue to do so whenever a chance presents itself. This time, it’s all about Wienerwald: A German franchise of chicken wizards with a decent presence in Greater Cairo.
What’s this Wienerwald Business?
Wienerwald, historically, has existed overseas since 1955. And if you head to its wikipedia page, you’ll clearly see that they’ve been struggling to stay relevant pretty much from the get-go. The name “Wienerwald” does imply more of a sausage theme than anything chicken-related, after all.
Wienerwald specialises in crossing German over-engineering with average old chicken. The result, however, is nowhere near average; imagine rotisserie chicken so soft and juicy, it falls off the bone. Imagine fried chicken so crisp and properly seasoned, it leaves your tongue in a state of mourning. Imagine a wholesome, hearty meal of chicken, potatoes, and some nice grilled greens for balance, maybe with some apple strudel on the side. Well, if you live in or near Maadi, the 1st Settlement, Heliopolis, or Dokki, you don’t have to imagine; you can try it out for yourself.
Why Wienerwald’s Fried Chicken and not KFC?
If you call yourself a fried chicken enthusiast, or even somebody with an appreciation for taste, and you still somehow value KFC as a source of either, you need to reevaluate your choices. You might be used to the 11 secret herbs and spices (and that stale-ass bread roll), but you can certainly do with filling portions, premium flavour and crunch factor, as well as no digestion problems.
Sure, Wienerwald only has four (maybe even five) branches around town, but they’re honestly worth going the distance for. Here’s why:
I’m sure backhendl means something more philosophical than fried chicken (if that’s possible), but it’s basically really upscale, subtly-seasoned fried chicken. Your standard backhendl meal can have between two and four pieces of chicken, your choice of side from sweet corn, to sauteed/grilled veggies, to mashed potatoes and even (optimally) a baked potato, and a neat little coleslaw salad.
The crunch factor is simply outstanding in this one. And though that usually means the meat has to suffer for it, nothing could be farther from the truth; whether it’s hot or even cold, Wienerwald’s backhendl has some of the juiciest meat for the price you pay (which ultimately rivals that of a regular 3-piece from KFC). The sides are all well-made and truly premium for what they are; the fries are thick and chewy, the mashed potatoes are flavourful and smooth, and the sweet corn does a great job at balancing out the more savoury profiles of the chicken.
The Schnitzel Burger
Wienerwald’s fried chicken options (besides backhendl) include Kiks (oversized chicken strips), Cordon Bleu (cheese/meat stuffed fried chicken), and Schnitzel (a slab of chicken deep fried to perfection). All of these options are strategically delicious, and because simplicity is always desirable, putting a freshly-fried schnitzel in a fluffy bun, some lettuce, tomatoes, and special sauce can make for a filling and fantastically crunchy sandwich.
This thing has both flavour and circumference on lockdown. Add a soda and some fries with a side of honey mustard sauce, and you have the makings of a wholesome evening nip.
The Fucking Cream of Mushroom Soup
I hate soup. I genuinely don’t believe that dinner food should ever be too liquid to bite (except for noodle soup). But no matter how vile I find the concept of soup to be, Wienerwald’s cream of mushroom soup is something else entirely.
It’s literally just regular-ass cream of mushroom soup, as far as I know. But the seasonings, the consistency and creaminess, the versatility of it all; it’s surreal and multi-purpose. Sure, you could just “eat” it like any soup, but this stuff goes amazing with a cut up baked potato in it, or great as a dip for fries, bread, and even the chicken itself. You can even order the motherfucker on its own and dump it all over plain pasta. It’s a mainstay in any Wienerwald order we make at the office, and it’ll continue to be that way forever.
Wienerwald is fantastic when it comes to fried (and roasted) chicken. It is a criminally underrated franchise that will likely never get the recognition it deserves. Their customer service is top notch; they never miss an order without calling to check if everything is OK and if you have any comments. Delivery time might be a bit too much, but for what you’re getting, it’s perfectly acceptable. Give your nearest branch a go, and let us know how it crunches.