Spicy nugs are the best kind of hugs…

Unless you’ve been hiding under a Kentuckian mega bucket for the past year, you’re unlikely to have missed the hype hurricane that has accompanied Saudi fried chicken brand, Al Baik making landfall in the UAE.

Last month, we were the first to break the news that the much-queued for, oft-Gram-spammed, regional GOAT of broiled-chicken would be making its way to Abu Dhabi. And now we have a few more bread crumbs of detail about the capital debut…

It’s set to open at the city’s Al Wahda Mall — already home to 350 diverse retail brands, with more on the way soon — and we now know it’s going to be an absolute whopper.

Talking about just how big this Abu Dhabi location will be, Mr. Navaneeth Sudhakaran the general manager of al Wahda Mall, said: “This will be the largest branch of Albaik in the UAE, with 9,500 square feet of space dedicated to the capital fast food joint.”

Now that is a very spicy nugget of news.

And the Al Wadha store’s size also might have other benefits, “the layout of the restaurant is designed to be able to handle lengthy queues smoothlySudhakaran added.

When will the first Al Baik open in Abu Dhabi..?

We don’t have exact dates, but we do know this fast food chain acts, well, fast — so expecting a mission green light this side of NYE does not seem out of the question.

Does Al Baik hold up to the hype..?

Taste is always going to be a subjective thing, we’ve tried it — we loved it, particularly those juicy spicy nugs after a smothering dunk in the garlic dip — but of course there are plenty of people that are not on board this particular hype train.

But if we were to take an average, to invoke the wisdom of crowds to take a barometer reading of the objective deliciousness — we’d point to those signature snaking crowds that appear wherever an Al Baik lays its hat.

Images: What’s On Archive/Instagram