I don’t think London will ever reach peek fried chicken. Places like BIRD, Chick ‘n’ Sours, Chik’N, hell – even KFC ensure that people can get there fix of battered bird whenever they like. And it’s all lovely stuff. Coqfighter is the latest one to tick off my list.
It’s on the first floor of BOXPARK, the shipping container village full of shopping/eating/drinking on Bethnal Green Road in Shoreditch. Inside it’s an an order-at-the-counter setup with a few tables and booths made of plain wood topped with kitchen rolls.
From the burger section: Green Chilli Cheese (£9) is the perfect size – big enough to look impressive but not so big you need a pitchfork and saw to eat it. The panko fried thigh is both moist and crisp while the accompanying shredded iceberg lettuce and American cheese with chipotle mayo is a decent blend of light and heavy. The sesame bun holds it altogether nicely. I do love a sesame bun.
K-Wings are huge. We order 5 (£6) which come with a Korean hot sauce and a sweet soy and garlic glaze (both homemade) alongside a paint brush for application. Fun. Different. Bloomin’ tasty. The batter contains vodka and although you wouldn’t really know, it’s as light as anything.
It’s nice to see bao buns on the menu, especially when they arrive all light and fluffy, sandwiching more of that panko crusted chicken. The bird is free range and cooked twice giving it extra crunch. A generous squirt of fiery szechuan mayo brings the whole thing alive.
We go for a side of smashed cucumbers (£3.50) which cuts through the richness of all the fried stuff perfectly. They’re fresh and lively, helped by the chilli oil which makes my nose run after just one bite. Lovely stuff.
I’d say Coqfighter is easily up there as some of the best fried chicken I’ve had. It’s a cool spot too – definitely one to try if you’re a fried chicken lover. Rumour has it they’re looking for a bricks and mortar site which is good news indeed.
Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant