It's getting so you can't move for upmarket chicken restaurants in London nowadays as attention finally shifts from burgers. Chloe finds there's no fowl play at Chicken Society.
Chicken Society, which has opened its doors recently in Finchley, is the latest restaurant looking to rule the roost with a simplistic chicken menu. With its exposed brick walls, neon lights and wooden and iron tables and chairs, this restaurant does have a touch of hipster about it.
The first thing you notice when you walk into this huge, expansive restaurant is the open kitchen at the back with a enormous open-flame spit. Reading the menu what’s instantly noticeable about this chicken restaurant is that, unlike most that have opened across London recently, it has strayed the focus away from the fried chicken trend.
Trying not to spoil the mains, we started with the boneless buttermilk fried chicken smothered in hot Korean-style BBQ sauce. The sauce was sticky, sweet and spicy and the chicken crisp on the outside. The fresh chilli garnish packed a punch, meaning the yogurt dip may be a necessity for some. A good introduction to Chicken Society’s offering.
The chickens are marinated in paprika, lemon, oregano and garlic for 24 hours, before being spit roasted for about 40-45 minutes over a hot, open flame and served with an unpretentious lemon garnish. This simple and time-tested technique results in a perfectly cooked chicken. The meat is tender whilst retaining a moist texture and is packed full of flavour.
The other show-stopper on the menu is the sweet and aromatic duck, which is again marinated for 24 hours before spit cooking with paprika, five spice, garlic and cayenne. The duck was rich and had an air of Asian flavours about it from the five spice. Another delicious dish.
As for the sides, the chargrilled corn cobs oozing melted butter and well-charred are an absolute must. The parmesan, sage and truffle oil fries were divine. They were crinkle cut fries which surprised but also delighted me and, unlike a lot of ‘topped’ fries, the flavours impregnated the fries all the way down the pot, meaning they tasted good until the last bite.
Now, if after all that food you have any room left, the house baked brownie of the day for pudding is a very tempting offer. On the day we visited Chicken Society the two options were cheesecake brownie and original chocolate. I’m a sucker for the classic and I wasn’t disappointed. Rich, indulgent, warm and gooey with a thick, delicious Cornish vanilla ice cream – what’s not to love.
I was very impressed by Chicken Society. Simple, honest, hands on food cooked well at reasonable prices. Yes, the venue is a touch hipster-ish on the inside but not so much as to distract you from the great food.