Please note, H.en is now closed. Time Out Food editors.
Hen, an Upper Street restaurant most noticeable for the giant egg painted around its door, is the second outlet of a much-loved Brighton spot serving good-quality chicken in trend-conscious but never ground-breaking ways; fried with Memphis-style barbecue sauce, grilled with Korean glaze, that sort of thing. But for London – a city that really knows its chicken – this is a pretty poultry offering.
Despite the decor being a tad ‘Ikea showroom’, the restaurant is comfortable, and staff greet you with smiles as bright as the colour scheme. At £9 a go, including chips, the vast chicken burgers offer undeniably great value for money, but look more exciting than they taste. Everything on the table needed more seasoning and most of it was supposed to taste of something more than it did. The sweetcorn’s promised ‘chicken skin butter and paprika’ was, heartbreakingly, undetectable. Trying chicken feet for the first time has made me want to order them again, albeit only to establish whether or not they’re actually supposed to taste of chip shop scraps.
The service – enthusiastic at first – became more and more difficult to attract as the restaurant filled up. I had to come over all meerkat to get hold of a dessert menu; these efforts were quickly regretted, as the puddings all turned out to be either stodgy or gluey. If you’re looking for an unchallenging belly-filler then Hen can provide – but given the many excellent meal options on Upper Street, this chicken’s not worth crossing the road for.