Crow with Delight at Chick ‘n Sours
More sweet than sour, this updated fried chicken restaurant is sure to leave a good taste in your mouth.
Chick ‘n Sours has been getting a lot of attention since its recent launch: from celebrity clients, to trending hashtags and lengthy write-ups in major newspapers. It advertises itself as ‘next level fried chicken and sour cocktails and it absolutely delivers upon this promise. Not being content with a mere single continent to specialise in, it manages to combine the best fried chicken recipes from across the globe. Although it certain has Southern US leanings (as seen in its brilliantly insane ‘Whole Fry Sunday’ that offers an entire chicken fried in but the most up-scale oils money can buy), they revel in combining Chinese (Szechuan Aubergine), Korean (seen especially in its kimchi ‘slaw) and Thai-style cooking methods and flavours. The array of so many styles of fried chicken boggles the imagination and it’s not uncommon to see an entire table burst into a debate about the merits of the more elegant lemon wings vs. the explosively tangy spicy vinegar variety.
However, it is undoubtedly the chicken burger which has been awarded the title of most talked about and desired dish- this is the Beyoncé of fried chicken dishes: ferocious, larger-than life, popular with everyone and simply towers over its competitors. It takes all of the best aspects of Korean fried chicken and smashes them together: juicy fried thigh, gochujang mayo, chilli vinegar and crunchy ‘slaw). Its sexy cousin, the Brunch Bun, is the ultimate hangover cure. Taking all of the aforementioned elements, it adds bacon, a fried egg and guacamole into the mix. Side dishes either offer a fruiter counteraction to the oil extravaganza of deep-fried chicken (such as the Melon and Coriander Salad) or say ‘sod it’ and go with the flow (Apple and Blue Cheese ‘salad’). Crispness appears to the be the key- they’ve really perfected their frying method itself, let alone the artisanal mixture of herbs within the batter. Colour is a real focus of the menu: the presentation of dishes has such a fantastical mixture of colours; sprinkling of white charred broccoli (which is actually a rococo pink), orange grated egg, green beans and seaweed mayo. Coleslaw looks like the remains of a charred snow kingdom (lots of pepper; lots of mayo).
As is to be expected from the name, sours cocktails are the heart of the drinks menu. The fruity beginning that ends with a tongue-slappingly good sour edge complements the chicken so well that it has almost elevated the entire menu into art. They also know their young, trendy clientele well enough to offer a soothing ‘Chick ‘n Mary’ on Saturdays and Sundays (their take on the traditional Bloody Mary). They keep it simple with beers and wine: offering a choice between two beers and house red or house white. The advantage of this is that the chefs have managed to pick the best wines and beers to go with the menu, eliminating the crushing doubt and confusion that usually arrives along with a wine list.
Desert has made a beautiful thing out of grotesque caricatures of Americana: only soft-serve ice cream; only caramel and peanut-butter flavours. The overall experience is whimsical, concise, playful and ethical (they only use free-range chicken). Even the bill is delivered in a giant chicken egg with complementary temporary tattoo.
Chick ‘n Sours is located at 390 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AA