The fast food industry in the UK is reported to be worth an astonishing £96.1 billion as at 2013. Our passion for the convenient cuisine is irrefutable. However, a majority of takeaway outlets tend to provide poor quality processed fare that are high in calories, offer no nutritional value and are served up in lacklustre venues with minimal or no seating.
The demand to enjoy the ubiquitous taste of fast food, but with the use of high quality ingredients in a contemporary location is the catalyst that has influenced the rising trend in hipster restaurants that have taken quick service dishes and transformed them into something sexy.
One such purveyor for the poultry revolution is Bird Restaurant, which has elevated the archetypal calorific fried fowl to high end free range fried chicken, that is served in a modern, urban chic and American diner style setting.
Please note that all the free range chicken is halal as Bird use a halal certified supplier and all the halal poultry is stored and prepared separately.
From the “Wings” section we sampled the free range wings that were covered in a selection of glazes. For fried chicken, the wings were extraordinarily and sumptuously dry, with no trace of grease or oil. The fried coating was crispy, yet light, while the chicken was sensually moist and tender. Each glaze offered a distinctive flavour that delightfully enhanced the already flavoursome wings. – Highly Recommended
From the “Fried Chicken Skillets” we ordered the “Small”, which consisted of a drumstick, thigh and 2 wings. Once again the dish was prepared to perfection, with a light crispy coating and tender and supple chicken. The bird was well seasoned, as the flavour combinations of black and white pepper, gluten free flour and paprika titillated the tastebuds to euphoria. Plus, with the addition of an assortment of dips, the dish was lifted to further heights of gratification. – Highly Recommended
From the “Chicken & Waffles” segment of the menu we ordered the “Chicken & Waffles” and the “Original Waffle Burger”.
The Chicken & Waffles visually did not look very appealing. But looks can be deceiving, as the unalluring two pieces of fried free range hen were fortified with a pleasing piquant that made the gustatory cells dance with delight. The griddled waffles were fresh, fluffy and doughy; glorious in texture, but were void of flavour. The chicken and waffles together, whilst satisfying were not astounding. However, the introduction of the rich, sweet, yet light Canadian maple syrup, which Bird import in, transformed a satisfactory dish into a sensational dish. – Highly Recommended
Whilst ordering the Original Waffle Burger, we specifically asked for extra house BBQ, mayo, hot sauce and Canadian maple syrup in the burger so to ensure that it did not suffer from dryness and was packed full of flavour. We were not disappointed. The griddled waffles were soft and doughy, yet maintained its integrity, the boneless free range thigh was prepared impeccably, and the gooey cheese, along with a medley of condiments provided an exquisitely luscious taste sensation that was positively rapturous. Please note, the burger comes with bacon, which was omitted from the dish. – Highly Recommended
From the “Burger” component of the menu, we ordered “The Bird”. The bun was unfortunately dry, with a slightly stale texture. The spicy slaw lacked piquancy and the house mayo and pickle were non-existent. The only flavour that was present was from the chicken breast, but this flavour was defused due to the barren bun and flavourless slaw. – Not Recommended
From the “Sides” we opted for the “Cheesy Korean Fries” and the “House Slaw”.
The Cheesy Korean Fries were delectably cheesy, but the gochujang glaze lacked the red chilli heat that we were hoping for, plus the entire dish was slightly too salty for our palate. – Worth a Try
The House Slaw was simply a disappointment. It lacked seasoning, there was no trace of the Canadian maple spiked house mayo and the cabbage and celery were a displeasing flavour combination. – Not Recommended
For “Dessert”, we were presented with the “Deep Fried Waffle & Ice cream”. This was a superlative end to our feast. The deep fried waffle was delicious in texture and taste, however, personally I would have preferred less of the cinnamon flavour. The whipped cream, sweet caramel and chocolate sauce were simply divine. Plus the combination of the vanilla ice cream and fried waffle was magnificent. – Recommended
Bird restaurant has had a number of mixed reviews in its time, which truth be told, did negatively influence our expectations. However, we were joyfully surprised to discover that the majority of the dishes that we sampled were excellent. There were undoubtedly some dishes that we believe do require improvement, but overall we were thoroughly impressed by most of the dishes. Whether this was due to the new chef at the Shoreditch branch or whether we were fortunate during our visit, only time will tell. But if you are a fried chicken enthusiast, Bird is quite simply the Word.