Thursday, 21 March 2013

Chicken v Chicken

Caroline       Alex

This week I graced the premises of two chicken restaurants in London. The first, Chicken Shop in Kentish Town. The second, fried chicken pop-up Mother Clucker near Piccadilly.

I do love chicken, especially the fried stuff. I love the grease and the skin and the moist chicken flesh...mmm. I think my Last Meal before my execution would be fried chicken with mashed potatoes and baked beans with lashings of ketchup and mayonnaise.

I also love chickens and I want one as a pet.  What a hypocrite.


Chicken Shop opened at the end of last year. You could easily walk right past it; it's downstairs below Pizza East.


It's quite small inside and when we went - a Saturday afternoon - a little chaotic. Dimly lit but bustling, bottles of sauce, china chickens and teapots adorn the walls. 


Chicken Shop sells you chicken - pure and simple. You can choose a quarter, half or whole chicken (free-range Norfolk chicken, fact fans).


They are all spinning on a huge spit at the front of the restaurant. 


There is a choice of four side dishes too - fries, coleslaw, corn on the cob and avocado salad.

Naturally, we ordered all of them...except for the salad.

The chicken arrives already cut up into portions - not a beautiful work of art but that's not why we came. 


The skin had that lovely chargrilled taste, salty and herby, and the meat was impressively moist. There are hot and smoky sauces on each table, your choice dependent on how much of a kick you want to add. The hot sauce is very hot!


The crinkled fries are really yummy here - not too thin yet still pleasingly crispy. The sweetcorn (with optional garlic sauce) was tender and juicy. 


A very pleasing chicken lunch! 

Alex had the chocolate brownie for dessert which was accompanied by the biggest jug of cream you've probably ever seen. The brownie was really good - nicely soft and gooey.

I think we will be returning soon.

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Mother Clucker last popped up in The Lexington in Angel and I had heard good things. Now they have taken over The Endurance pub on Berwick Street.

I loved how they had added lots of little Mother Clucker touches to the pub including the little chicken feet all the way from the door to the bar.


And yes, I still find the name amusing.

The chickens here are from a place called Fosse Meadows where apparently the chickens roam as a herd and are as free range as you can get. How nice.

Today they were running a reduced menu - they had no mac n cheese and no vegetarian option. Not sure why.


We were feeling particularly greedy so we ordered two of the Clucker Combos, Six Wings and another portion of the waffle fries. Our mouths watered and hopes were high!

The food arrives in little red baskets with the Cluster Clucks in a separate pot.


The thigh was delicious - probably one of the biggest and juiciest chicken thighs I have ever seen and tasted!  The clusters were nice too although not as exciting and not quite hot enough.

The waffle fries were something a bit different to the standard. They came with melted cheese which was really tasty although unfortunately quite a few of the fries were burnt.

Talking of burnt...


..the wings were a little over done. We got the last portion, they said, as they had run out (how does that happen at lunchtime??). Unfortunately they were quite tough and tasted burnt so a bit of a disappointment.

Also the buttermilk biscuit was stone cold. Perhaps they meant it this way but I definitely prefer mine warmed through. Nothing special.

At least the fries raised a smile!


Overall we were quite disappointed with Mother Clucker. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt as it's their first week and it seems they've had a few teething problems (the fryers had broken down the day before we visited). If they can get the rest of the food up to the standard of that chicken thigh then it will definitely be a clucking winner.


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Chicken Shop on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

Bella said...

Chicken Shop looks so great, your pictures had my mouth watering! It's a shame Mother Clucker was a bit of a letdown - the name and branding is brilliant and the menu looks fab on paper!

Caroline M said...

You're so right, the branding was genius but they didn't live up to expectations that day. But I still think it could be because it was the first week - maybe I'll give the pop-ups a bit longer to settle in before I visit in future :)