I very nearly didn’t write this post. I’ve woken up this morning after yet another terror attack in London – this time on London Bridge and Borough Market. Borough Market is a foodie’s (hate that word) stomping ground – and I know people who live and work there. Writing a blog about stuffing one’s face seems trivial and pointless in the scheme of things.
But I love London and I love writing. I launched this blog to share amazing places in the city I’ve chosen to make my home. Writing about food doesn’t change the world but today like all the other days after these awful attacks, people will get up and carry on as ‘normal’, albeit with a heavy heart and return to our day-to-day lives. Onwards……
So… Friday night has arrived and I’m meeting a footloose and fancy-free teacher/mum friend who wants to make the most of her holiday fun times. Working in Covent Garden you soon get wise to the restaurants aimed predominately at Barry and Sheila down from Walsall here to see Mamma Mia.
But I have my ear to the ground and recently walked past Chick ‘n’ Sours in Seven Dials. They’ve had an outpost in hipsters paradise Haggerston for a while, and Covent Garden is their second branch. I texted my friend a range of food options in the day and happily we both settled for “dirty” food. And this looked positively filthy.
The website said there were no tables free till 9pm but ever the optimist we pop along anyway at 6pm. Some charming front of house boys checked their system and a table was made available and we were whisked downstairs.
It’s dark, buzzing – all neon and a bit trashy. I like it. People are drinking cocktails from headsized glasses we later find out are called goldfish bowls.
The menu describes the offering as next level fried chicken and cocktails. The list is small but we still find it hard to choose. We decide we should have a sour but have no idea what to expect. We both order a Chick n Club #2 – gin, blackberries, apple, blackcurrant and rosemary vinegar (what?) and sour. This didn’t sound entirely appetising to be honest but when in Rome and all that…..
Served in beer glasses like my dad had in the 80’s, these cocktails were totally delicious. I don’t know what the sour element was on the top but it totally complimented the sweet blackberries and apple.
Food then. The free range chicken comes from two family farms – one in Somerset and one in Yorkshire. Top quality birds.
I choose probably the most mainstream item on the menu but that’s a good test I think. The Colonel – a soft brioche bun with fried thigh, buttermilk, herb mayo, cheese, lettuce and pickles. Probably only 100 calories or so *coughs*.
It’s tall, and huge and messy to eat. One to be avoided on a first date perhaps. The chicken is not remotely greasy and ridiculously crispy. This is the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten – this is high quality low brow food.
My friend orders a thigh and drumstick served with pickled watermelon which gets a big thumbs up. Food is served on mismatched plates and it works.
We order a side of slaw with unexpected chillies in it, that blow the cobwebs away and some beef dripping fries. Both excellent – we could have shared fries but you live and learn.
We have a glass of white natural wine for a fiver which is good value and really decent.
Chick ‘n’ Sours is fun and a great place for a relaxed meal. But the food is seriously good and excellent value. Every member of staff was lovely and they have excellent pineapple wallpaper. Usher is a fan.
All the fun of East London – round the corner from the office.