Emily's Openings: Chicken Shop - Spear's Magazine

Emily’s Openings: Chicken Shop

We ordered half a chicken and all of the sides in one big greedy gesture. Our little table was buckling under the weight of all the enamel platters so we tucked in. Having spent most of the afternoon debating if chicken is really that exciting, our silence said it all.

On our way to Chicken Shop this week we came up with several amazing chicken puns. I would like to include them all, though fear they will face the chop. Much like the spit-roasted Norfolk free range chickens we’d come to eat.

The menu here is so simple I can relate it in its entirety: whole, halved or quartered chicken; smoky or hot sauce; 4 sides (corn, butter leaf and avocado salad, coleslaw and chips) and 3 puddings (apple pie, lemon cheesecake or brownie). Pretty simple, which is useful given that the menu is only on the walls and the place — much like Pizza East Kentish Town upstairs — is ‘atmospherically’ lit to Dickensian standards.

We ordered half a chicken and all of the sides in one big greedy gesture. Our little table was buckling under the weight of all the enamel platters so we tucked in. Having spent most of the afternoon debating if chicken is really that exciting, our silence said it all.

The flesh was juicy and smoke-licked and really didn’t need the sauces as it had all the flavour you could ask for on its own. The sides were all simple but tasty – the corn comes with an optional jug of melted butter but it was buttery enough already in my opinion. Corn rarely needs dressing, the sweet little kernels should have enough flavour entirely naked if the corn is good and fresh.

We were somehow persuaded to have some apple pie having been defeated by the chicken and sides, though the left-overs were helpfully packaged away in a lovely doggy bag, a big tick from me and my campaign against food waste (yes, often this is just me eating everything to avoid waste. Baby steps).  

They pride themselves on their pie here, and it does look fabulous coming to the table in a big dish to be spooned out according to how hungry you are. The pastry is more like a sponge with its crumbly texture, which is nice — a bit lighter than normal, but the filling is much too sweet for my palate.

I’d love the apples to be treated simply with just a little water and sugar so they are able to shine and give a much needed fresh, tart end to the meal.  But this is just my opinion — elsewhere people were demolishing plate after plate — so clearly it appeals to the masses!

Chicken Shop is fun, busy and good value. The chicken is excellent, which is useful given that it is the one and only main.  Presented with the choice, I’d still go upstairs to have pizza but for those who dither, maybe combine the two: chicken pizza. Decision-making bypassed, problem solved. Happy days.
 
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