London and poultry-based fast food are not a new combination. But this chic new joint in Soho does more than just fried chicken, and offers swift service and a cool wood-panelled décor to boot.
The simple menu offers three cooking methods for its chicken: roasted, deep-fried or pulled. Variety comes from the bases – house bun, maple waffle or salad – and the sauces (gravy, chipotle, BBQ or herb and maple chilli).
Crisp-coated buttermilk chicken breast was a little dry; the coating would lend itself better to wings or thighs. But the scrumptious chicken-skin gravy saved the day and would be a fine addition to any of the ‘styles.’ The waffle was the most intriguing base, giving the mildly-spiced roast chicken a sweet kick. Sides are standard but tasty.
Ma’Plucker’s greatest strength is its dessert menu. The crunchy cornflake and caramel sundae is more than enough for two, while the apple pie (served in a snazzy mess tin) comes with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
It was quiet on our visit, but when it’s busy the place is small enough that you might rub shoulders with the group on the next table. It’s still comfortable, however, and not too noisy, making this American-style diner a perfect pitstop for lunch or dinner. And the reasonably priced menu suggests that this won’t be the last of Ma’s coops.
75 Beak Street
|Opening hours:||Sunday - Tuesday 12pm - 11pm Wednesday - Saturday 12pm - 12am|
|Transport:||Tube: Oxford Circus / Piccadilly Circus|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £30.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.4 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:4
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
Where better to plan a Hen Party than in a restaurant that specialises in the delectation of chicken?
Possible accusations of theoretical cannibalism aside, Ma' Pluckers did for us what the literary chicken soup did for the soul.
The restaurant is placed on the pun-tastic 'Beak Street' in Soho, and is a fun, tasty and enjoyable experience. Plain and comfortable tables and stools are framed by the kind of wallpaper I thought i'd seen the last of in my Granny's kitchen circa 1986, but now graces the most forward thinking retro homes and venues.
The staff were relaxed and friendly, and immediately embraced me and my lively cohort in order to make us feel at home. Drinks were ordered immediately, and whilst the others indulged in a very drinkable white wine, I opted for the house iced-tea (£2.50 a glass). There were two flavours available and I opted for the lemon one, both refreshing and delicious.
The menu (like the venue) is new, and is overseen by the wonderful 'Sexy Sylvia', a cartoon Hen with excellent taste in headscarves. Serendipitous for my lot, as were planning the Hen Do for someone called Sylvie (close enough).
As you can guess from the name, the menu focuses on Chicken dishes, and does them very well. I had the buttermilk-dipped, crispy-coated chicken breast with Ma' Pluckers own chicken gravy. This was served in a house bun and came in at a very affordable £8. I also enjoyed a side order of Ma's Slaw, served in an enamel mug at £2.50, it was a delicious recipe delivered stylishly and in keeping with the whole atmosphere.
In the midst of discussing various outrageous Hen Do activities (Singalonga-Naked-Sound of Music, anyone?) I wolfed down my dinner in a rather ungainly fashion, but enjoyed every mouthful with the backdrop of the next table, a group of 6, making similar 'yummy noises'. Ma' Pluckers is clearly getting it right. The veggie among us enjoyed a dish of Halloumi cheese, which I can vouch for being wonderful. Ma' Pluckers are planning to expand the veggie options as they grow and develop, but for an opening offer, they certainly delivered well.
After a quick refresher in their beautifully spotless and sweet smelling toilets complete with pictures of some fabulous 50's women, with corresponding hair-do's, and the kind of coy smiles reserved for meeting Matinee idols, we approached dessert.
YUM, is the word that springs to mind. We decided to share 2 between us. The iconic Cherry Pie (£6) and Ma's Sweet n' Salty Popcorn Sundae (also £6). I don't know which genius invented popcorn flavoured ice cream but they should probably be rewarded! The Cherry Pie is a very popular dish at Ma's and rightly so, slightly tart, sweet and very more-ish, I could be tempted to pop in for that alone when i'm next in the area.
In all, it was an affordable, friendly and very very tasty experience. From the dishes to the décor, Ma' Pluckers is aware that a truly great dining experience speaks to all of the senses to be a real success. They're clearly fulfilling this mission, and are well on the way to fulfilling more.
At the same time that they are becoming a strong contender in the hospitality community (check out Monday nights offer of 20% off the bill – or should that be beak?- for all people who work in the industry) they also run the 'Ma' Plucking Quiz' on Sunday nights with their resident Drag Queen, Vinegar Strokes, as Quiz Mistress. Continuing on the creative tip, if a customer can prove that they are a 'struggling thespian' by providing an Equity Card, Spotlight Card or similar, they can find themselves having 25% knocked off the final bill. Just the kind of warm and homely hospitality that Ma's is surely becoming known for by all those who visit.
Our visit was a real treat from start to finish, and we will definitely be returning. As for the Hen Do plans? Watch this space...we're still brooding and haven't laid yet...!
Went here for a catch up with friends. Interesting menu (who knew chicken was so versatile), had the pulled chicken in a taco with sour cream and guacamole, and some deep fried halloumi on the side. Seriously good.
Went on recommendation.. turns out they were referring to another gormet fried chicken joint called 'Mother Clucker'. Not sure which party is to blame for the fraud.. but one thing is for sure, 'ma pluckers' did not live up to our expectations. Dry chicken and service to boot.
Average at best. Our buttermilk chicken tended towards the dry. Also, a corn on the cob came standing on its head in a tin mug (natch) containing a thin dribble of limey butter. HOW IS THAT A USEFUL WAY TO SERVE SOMETHING?