Grown-up dishes from all over the globe with one thing in common: the main ingredient is chicken or egg.
I’ll admit it. When I first heard there was a new ‘chicken and egg place’, I couldn’t resist a disdainful snort. Writing it off as a mere get-on-the-protein-bandwagon gimmickery (seriously, people: is everyone on Atkins?), I went along expecting a basic menu, a basket-full of fowl puns and irritatingly chirpy staff. I was right about the puns (the menu asks if you’re ‘feeling peckish’; the jobs board invites you to ‘join the brood’), but wrong about the food, most of which was actually pretty clucking good.
Crucially, there’s no rotisserie and nothing masquerading as sexy KFC here. Instead, it’s a roll-call of grown-up dishes – the kind you’d find at a (chicken-themed) dinner party, with more nations represented than the Opening Ceremeony of the Olympics. We enjoyed our ‘Bangkok scotch egg’, its breadcrumbed shell giving way to succulent chilli and lemongrass-spiked thigh meat wrapped around a soft-boiled, sunny-centred egg; and a Gallic-leaning pie with white meat, juicy prawns and tendrils of samphire smothered in a light béarnaise sauce.
For simpler tastes, there’s chicken roasted under a brick (pollo al mattone; a traditional Tuscan technique designed to give a crisp skin and moist inside) with an intensely savoury gravy. Sadly, another Italian-inspired dish, a ‘bruschetta’ of soft-boiled egg and ricotta, was gout-inducingly rich, the crushed peas and barely-there mint struggling to cut through the cholesterol. But while it may not appeal to food snobs, W&B has more to offer than posh comfort nosh: a superb courtyard location; affordable cocktails (from less than £7) and handsome, if contrived interiors. Come here with an open mind, and you might just have a cracking time.