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Thunderbird Fried Chicken

Restaurants, American Brixton
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A street-foody fried chicken joint in Brixton Market.

This clattery, bare-bricked (obvs) two-floor spot in Brixton Market might look like your garden variety chicken joint. But Thunderbird is actually the permanent version of the Thunderbird stalls at go-to taste arbiters Dinerama and Giant Robot, plus it won ‘Best Buffalo Wings’ at Wingfest 2015 – these mothercluckers have a more polished CV than most.

And they delivered. A tray of BBQ wings was great: crisp, papery skin; succulent meat; the sticky sauce an alchemically ace melding of sweet, sour and smoke. They were about as good as any wings you’ll get anywhere, let alone in SW9. The same could not be said for those slathered in salted caramel. They were undersalted, orange-laced (why?!), truly cloying, and the menu’s only glaring misstep.

Everything else sang. A basic Thunderbun chicken burger saw more of that finely seasoned, crisply coated bird, simply laden with iceberg, pickles and a mayo-derivative (but objectively delicious) ‘awesome’ sauce. Better still was the Meltdown. The light scattering of jalapeños and charred pepper aioli were good. But the inclusion of melty, miso-infused synthetic cheese was genius; an enveloping umami blanket both stupid delicious and indicative of Thunderbird’s subtly inventive take on a dude-food staple.

Service was perfectly affable (though this is an order-at-the-counter place, so the exchanges were functional) and the drinks list sparse – just sodas (Caribbean Ting was a neat inclusion), milkshakes and a few Brixton and Brooklyn craft beers. But this minimalist approach felt well-curated rather than perfunctory. In any case, for that cheese alone you should fly down to Brixton.


Address: 10 Market Row
Transport: Tube: Brixton
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £50.
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