Why did the vegan cross the road? Because there was nothing to eat at the Chicken Shop. This venture underneath Pizza East and Dirty Burger makes a similar virtue of its specialism. Chickens turn and blacken on a medieval-looking wood-fired spit, a man in a chain-mail glove hacks them into quarters, and your order of a whole, half or quarter bird arrives without delay. Spicy but not too much so, blackened but not excessively, it is, yes, finger-lickin’ chicken.
The price of the free-range chooks appears keen, but profit-boosting sides such as great crinkle-cut chips and aïoli mayo dip, red cabbage coleslaw with a more creamy than tangy dressing, and a salad of butter lettuce (old-fashioned floppy leaves rebranded) with avocado, redress the balance. The decor is a mash-up of 1950s furniture, reclaimed timber, mahogany shop fittings and American wooden beer crates. Wines are wittily bracketed into house, decent and good, red, white and rosé; not so amusing is the outrageous mark-up on the prosecco.
The music is loud, the lighting dim, the service swift, the desserts just three: hazelnut brownie; rather ordinary lemon cheesecake and an excellent lemon- and cinnamon-spiked apple pie.