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, AlBaik making landfall in the UAE.

This year, 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 AlBaik open in Abu Dhabi..?

We still don’t have an exact confirmed date, but a recent post on the UAE ‘wing’ of the brand’s Instagram presence seems to suggest the launch is imminent. Further fervor was elicited from the account’s replies to those enquiring about the opening date, stating that the drop date was coming “very soon”.


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Does AlBaik 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 AlBaik lays its hat.

Images: What’s On Archive/Instagram