No matter what happens in this post-Coronavirus city, trendy fried chicken joints are a feature of London life we can expect to return. This Fitzrovia restaurant, in a prime spot just off Oxford Street (which is reflected in the prices, fyi), is the first overseas branch of Sweet Chick, a NYC mini-chain owned by rapper Nas that serves what he calls ‘new American comfort food’.
Southern fried chicken and freshly made waffles take the lead here. You can keep things simple and flood the lot with maple syrup, or go wild and order, say, the Chinese-inspired kung pao chook with a rice and broccoli waffle.
Go for the buffalo option and you’ll get two juicy, crispy, battered chicken pieces smothered in a tangy, tongue-tingling hot sauce. The accompanying waffle – this time made with a carrot and celery-laced mix – was so light and pillowy that I could have laid down and taken a nap on it.
The good stuff doesn’t stop there: a plate of pork nuggets arrived, not as an ode to the deep-fat fryer as anticipated, but in the form of tender, meaty morsels glazed in a sticky balsamic-and-blueberry dressing, scattered across shards of crunchy kimchi. The cracker-crumb-topped mac ’n’ cheese was silky and packed a proper taste of cheddar. More of that, please.
Some of Sweet Chick’s flavours were a bit overbearing, though. A hefty blue-cheese dipping sauce quickly became cloying, and the over-seasoned home fries were so salty, I had to call time after a few mouthfuls and set them aside.
They say you can have too much of a good thing, which these days seems to be serving quality fried chicken to a hip soundtrack, but assuming it’s open, Sweet Chick is worth a visit – for a hit of that mac ’n’ cheese, at least.