There is a new chicken aficionado that has come home to roost and has nestled itself on Commercial Street.
Absurd Bird is a new addition to the flock of poultry ventures located around Shoreditch, specialising in Southern fried hospitality and chicken. While the concept and cuisine is not necessarily new, what makes Absurd Bird reach the top of the pecking order is its innovative decor and branding.
Absurd Bird is part of a new wave of restaurants offering not only just good food, but also a theatrically entertaining dining experience. This is achieved by the absurdly fowl theme running across the entire design of the restaurant; from hanging bird cages as lampshades, binoculars as light furnishings, chicken coops as dining booths, to even a story of the adventures of two chicken friends, which is narrated by the ornaments, decorations and accoutres which are adorned throughout the venue.
The attention to detail and homage to our fine feathered friends is mesmerising and deliciously fun.
Absurd Bird require 24 hour notice to provide halal chicken.
We began our chicken odyssey, by starting from the “Small Plates” section where we ordered “Spinach and Artichoke Dip, with fried tortilla chips” and “Jalapeño Cheese Biscuits, with apple butter”.
The Spinach and Artichoke dip was splendid, as the dip was creamy and rich, with a slight hint of spice, which bought satisfaction to our tastebuds.
The jalapeño biscuits looked like the off-springs from a conjugal marriage between a scone and a bread roll. The outer layer of the biscuits were crusty, with the inner layer being soft, warm and doughy. The biscuits themselves were mild in piquancy, however the apple butter was a revelation. The apple butter was salaciously smooth and sweet and tasted more like the ubiquitous American apple pie then butter.
“From the Wingshack” section of the menu, we selected “Smoked Chicken Wings” and “BBQ Chicken Wings”.
The prominent flavour from the Smoked Chicken Wings was its smokey taste, with a mild turmeric seasoning. The chicken itself was moist and supple, tearing apart effortlessly.
The BBQ Chicken Wings were sweet, slightly tangy and rambunctiously messy, truly delightful. However, personally we would have liked some heat to cut through the tanginess of the sauce. Wings were once again prodigious in size and succulent in texture.
Finally, from “The Bird” segment of the menu, we opted for “Dirty Buns”, “Crispy Fried Chicken Burger, with BBQ sauce & coleslaw” and “Chicken and Waffles, with smoked sweet gravy & maple syrup”.
Bao buns are all the craze at the moment, and quite rightly so, as they are quite simply divine. Mantou is the bread used for baos, and is made by steaming the yeast instead of baking it. This results in creating a fluffy and soft texture and the addition of sugar is what provides the hint of sweetness. The bao buns from the Dirty Buns burger, even though extremely appetising, on this occasion were slightly thick and doughy. The chunks of chicken were tender, with a soft crispy coating. The wonderfully spicy mayo combined with the slightly tangy pickle were a union made in heaven.
The Crispy Fried Chicken Burger was a surprise hit. The toasted brioche sesame seed bun was soft and buttery, the chicken was luscious, moist and tender, with a light crispy batter coating and best of all, there was copious amounts of condiments and homemade sweet and tangy coleslaw that lifted the burger from being good to great. Majority of restaurants, when they serve chicken burgers are frugal with the sauce, which makes the burger dry and flavourless. Be assured, the Crispy Fried Chicken Burger does not adhere to this poor practise.
Finally, the pièce de résistance, the Chicken and Waffles were in our humble opinion, one of the best we have experienced. The waffle was soft, fluffy and light, with a delectably sweet maple syrup glaze. The chicken was of a generous portion, and once again was moist, succulent and perfectly prepared, with a thin and light batter coating. The sweet gravy was a perfect accompaniment, and provided a greater depth of flavour. The only improvement we would recommend is for the chicken to be seasoned.
With the rise in poultry providing eateries, it can be somewhat of a wild goose chase to find a chicken restaurant that leaves you with goose bumps, and Absurd Bird, who have only been open for a few months, in our opinion have definitely achieved this. There is scope for improvements (as with any new restaurant), but Absurd Bird should be proud as a peacock for providing a fun and quirky dining experience.
So whether you are an ornithologist or a food lover, why not kill two birds with one stone and try Absurd Bird.
*We were invited to review the restaurant.