Chick ‘n’ Sours has been sitting pretty on that stretch of the Kingsland Road, near Pamela and Rotorino, for some time now. Co owner, Carl Clarke, used to be a DJ and has run a whole host of successful pop ups, mainly specialising in decent junk food, so knows what he’s doing with a deep fat fryer.
Inside it’s a small and simple space; tightly packed tables of two and an open bar. If it’s East London people watching you’re after (a favourite past time of mine) then grab a seat at the long table by the window.
To start, we went for the wings from the specials board (£7.50), which were covered in a curry sauce, plenty of fresh chilli and coriander. The blend of rich, coconut curry sauce and fresh, fiery chilli was a brilliant one and not something I’ve seen much of with wings.
On Sundays they serve a whole deep fried chicken (£25) which is something of a spectacle. They use a gismo called a pressure fryer, which cooks the bird from the inside out, almost steaming it, meaning you end up with perfectly cooked chicken right the way through to the bone. Then there’s the coating; the light batter, drenched in spicy sauce, still keeps its crunch like something from a magic trick. You wonder how the hell they do it. I’ve never eaten a chicken like it.
Sides avoid playing it safe. Pickled watermelon (£4) is fresh and vibrant and sprinkled with peanuts for added texture. Sprouting broccoli with XO dressing (£4.50) slaps you round the face with spice, and szechuan aubergine (£5.50) is impressively not in the least bit greasy or stodgy, even though it’s deep fried.
I’ve been a fan of Chick ‘n’ Sours for a while now – it’s one of those places that just gets it right; great vibe, simple layout, friendly staff and very decent fried chicken using the best possible produce. And if you can deep fry a whole chicken, make it look beautiful and taste utterly delicious, then you’re a winner in my book.
We dined as guests of the restaurant.