25 Peter Street, London, W1F 0AG www.absurdbird.com
Chicken restaurants seem to be flocking into London, keen to distance themselves from the Colonel and his customers. Chloe checks out a big bird that’s not as silly as it sounds.
Absurd Bird is a self-proclaimed chicken lover’s paradise and, I can’t disagree. Serving a fantastic array of chicken dishes, from southern-inspired chicken, to’dirty’ bao buns and everything in between. It may sound clichÃƒÂ©d but, from my initial look at the menu it appeared there really was a chicken dish for everyone. And, luckily for chicken lovers, they have just opened a new site in Soho.
When you first walk in to Absurd Bird you can’t help but be shocked by how small the restaurant seems to be, only holding four or five booths. However, we were led down a spiral staircase to a secretive underground dining area that you would never guess is there from the outside, with low lighting, sofa seats and a slightly hipster feel. We knew we were in for a treat.
I was quite excited at the idea of going to Absurd Bird so, I took a sneak peek at the menu online before I visited. I wish I hadn’t, as this led to slight disappointment when I was greeted by the news that they didn’t have fried pickles on the menu (a guilty pleasure of mine), and they had run out of crack pie (I live another day with this delicious sounding dessert being a mystery to me).
However, I got over the initial disappointment pretty quickly when the food arrived. The spinach and artichoke dip (a first for me) to start was divine. There is no other way to describe it really. It was creamy and rich and oozing with tasty goodness. Served with giant tortilla chips, it was a hearty portion but, I was so sad when it finished and if we hadn’t been in a restaurant, I would have almost certainly picked up the dish to lick it clean. A new-found favourite.
In my opinion, you can’t go to a speciality chicken restaurant without trying their wings. The crispy fried buttermilk wings were coated in a thick, crisp, and very naughty batter seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper. The chicken wings themselves were huge, and the chicken inside cooked to perfection, maintaining the moistness you hope for.
The buffalo coating on the wings had a fantastic shine to it, and a tasty warmth. They were sticky with a slight sweetness, and naturally worked well with the blue cheese dip. If you can eat these wings without becoming coated in the sauce yourself, you are a better person than me, but it was worth it.
The main was a marginally healthier choice Ã¢â‚¬â€œ grilled chicken served with a sweet gravy and a spicy dipping sauce. Again, the chicken was moist and had that’fire’ taste that comes with meat cooked over a hot grill. The gravy was thick and velvety and coated the chicken well. Did it quite live up to the wings? No. Was it still a great chicken dish? Yes.
As the crack pie was all out, and we were stuffed almost to the point of explosion, cookies were the only way to go. They are served warm, with chocolate chips melting and beckoning you to eat them, and with milk on the side for those who can enjoy it. They were moreish and, a fantastic way to finish a great meal. One thing I couldn’t help but notice was although the small bottle the milk was served in was very cute, it did stop my dining partner being able to dip his cookies in it.
I had been meaning to try Absurd Bird for a long time and, was slightly worried I would be disappointed, that I would have built up the hype in my head too much. However, I’m happy to report that I was impressed by the fantastic offering available. I’ll definitely be heading back, especially for the spinach dip and buttermilk wings.