Wing Kings Swoop In

A tasty soul food pop-up restaurant has got tongues wagging lately. Exposed has tried it out recently, so here’s the story behind the Wing Kings…

It’s not unusual for sports stars to open restaurants once they retire. Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Ryan Giggs are just a few of the famous names to have gone into the hospitality industry after their first careers finished. But how many of them are actually in the kitchen, cooking the food?

Originally from London, Olu Babalola is a successful basketball player who settled in Sheffield after joining the Sheffield Sharks, and he has recently begun sharing his love of soul food with the city. Whilst studying at Clemson University, South Carolina, he picked up the range of recipes from the chef known as ‘Mama’, a little old lady in her 70s, who may not have said much but became so fond of Olu, she passed on the ingredients behind her secret seasoning mix, a family recipe which was over 100 years old. And it’s this that makes self-taught chef Olu’s dishes stand out.

Olu Babalola, owner of Wing Kings

With his basketball career nearing the end, he recently began unveiling a range of pop up events to showcase his range of soul food dishes which include the likes of chicken and waffles (yum), shrimp and grits, fried catfish, collard greens, honey-buttered cornbread and that old favourite, mac and cheese.

“I’m making a lot of things you just can’t get anywhere else in the city with a recipe unlike any other,” he told Exposed.

Whilst there are plans in place to open a permanent restaurant in the near future, in the meantime the best place to sample the Wing Kings offering is at Olu’s fortnightly pop-up events at Sentinel Brewhouse on Shoreham Street.

Next up are the Soul Food Sunday Lunches on November 19 and December 3, as well as his Thanksgiving Banquet on November 23rd. All are usually three course set menus for £14.95 or £7.95 for kids. Alongside the food, there’s also live music and the range of tasty tipples you’d expect at one of the city’s best brewery-owned pubs.

For more details and full menus visit their website and to book, email or find them on Facebook.

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