If you like chicken, then you had better take a trip to Chicken Shop – Soho House Group’s latest offering in Kentish Town. It’s in the same building as Dirty Burger and Pizza East (also owned by SHG) but we found the entrance to Chicken Shop quite hard to find. An open door leading to a staircase with no signage meant we walked past it before finally realising what it was.
The basement restaurant (with no windows) was very dark and had a buzzy atmosphere – it was packed. We arrived at 8pm and the wait time for a table was an hour and a half – the people of Kentish Town obviously love their chicken. 50 minutes later we got a call telling us our table was ready which was a pleasant surprise.
The simple menu was on the wall – you can get a whole rotisserie chicken for Â£14.50, a half for Â£8 or a quarter for Â£4. The sides available were crinkle cut fries, coleslaw and corn on the cob all at Â£3 or a butter lettuce and avocado salad at Â£4. It all sounded good to me.
Everything was served in that white tin camping crockery that is so on trend at the moment. We opted for the whole chicken – which arrived chopped up in pieces and was served with wedges of lemon. Two sauces were available on the table, hot or smokey. We stuck to the smokey which had a pleasant twang but was still pretty spicy, so God knows what the hot would have been like!
The chicken itself was a little inconsistent. Some pieces were absolutely delicious – moist and succulent yet other, thicker chunks were dry and stringy. The skin on all pieces was lovely and crispy. I love dark restaurants – I think it makes for a great atmosphere, but we felt it was too dark in Chicken Shop. We couldn’t differentiate between chicken and bone as we couldn’t see a thing.
The crinkle cut fries were great – and very salty. Not quite as good as at Dirty Burger but a close second. The waiter poured some melted butter from a large jug onto the corn on the cob which was an interesting touch. He was a little stingy though – we could have done with a lot more. However, the corn was perfectly cooked with charred blackened bits giving it plenty of flavour.
For pud, we decided to share the deep filled apple pie (Â£4) served with cream or ice cream (we got both!). Our waitress brought over a giant pie dish with a serving spoon and asked us how big a slice we wanted. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when she served us a ginormous slice! It was served with an equally humungous 2 pint jug of cream. The pie was heavenly – faultless in fact. It was sweet yet tangy with a crunchy pastry topping. It was served cold – something which I usually hate but this one converted me – it didn’t need to be hot as it tasted that good!
Chatting to our waitress whilst paying the bill, she told us that they were heavily understaffed that night and a waiter from Pizza East and the barman were having to serve the food. This explained the service being a little slow but she did a bloomin’ good job considering they were so busy.
We liked Chicken Shop – the chicken on the whole was pleasant – not the best we’ve ever had but very reasonably priced. But the dessert was the winner for us and stole the show – I’d go back just for that!