Fried chicken is nostalgic comfort food for me. Growing up, it was the omnipresent party food. Whenever my class had pot luck celebrations, my mother (who can’t cook) would order fried chicken from either her caterer or Jollibee as my contribution. It’s easy, it’s happy, and errbody loves it.
I’ve yet to find the best fried chicken in London. And no, I’m not talking about the chicken shop type here but proper, homey, wholesome fried chicken that would make you smack your lips – and your great grandma proud.
Enter Chick ‘n’ Sours, who finally opened shop in Covent Garden. I’ve heard good things about the Dalston outpost but as much as I would travel for good food, I like that this new joint is more accessible.
G and I chanced on the new opening after a shopping trip. We walked in for early supper and propped ourselves by the counter, where we perused the short but sweet menu.
The space is quite cute. It’s homey enough without being overly plain. Cosy enough to be super casual.
G went for the D’N’T Sour (£8), a mix of vodka, cucumber, elderflower, and white wine. It was rather refreshing and light.
I gravitated towards the chick’n’club #2 (£6.50). It’s a concoction made of gin, blackberry, apple, vermouth, and vinegar. It’s rather sweet but the tang of the vinegar cuts through. It’s not something I’d usually go for but I like it.
For starters, we shared a plate of Disco Wings (£6). You can get these bad boys either naked or in hot/sticky (sweet ‘n’ sour)/hot ‘n’ numbing sauce. We opted for the sticky version.
The serving is quite hefty. The chicken itself was pretty delicious and I was surprised how juicy the chicken was, despite all that crunchy buttermilk coating. The sauce itself was quite nice and not overly sweet. I was quite pleased.
I went for *drum rolls* more fried chicken for mains, because why not. Covent Garden’s “guest fry” (£12) was a leg and thigh drizzled with “General Tso glaze”, chilli, spring onion and soy pickled beans. I expected this to be quite spicy, but it was very tolerable, bordering on mild. Then again, I have high tolerance for heat.
As far as fried chicken goes, I really love that übercrispy, crunchy coating. When fried perfectly, ie on the chicken thigh, it’s really good and the meat shines in all its chicken glory. But when overdone, ie on the drumstick… well it’s not really pleasant and actually takes away from the joy of eating fried chicken.
G went for the K-pop bun (£12) a pressed Korean fried thigh, gochujang infused mayo, chilli vinegar and Asian slaw. G was immediately defeated by the magnanimity of this chicken burger. I thought it had much potential, if only it weren’t too dry. The brioche was quite good but something needs to bind the whole thing together.
We shared a green slaw (£4) out of guilt for stuffing our faces with too much fried stuff. *burps*
Overall, I went to Chick ‘n’ Sours thinking I’d find London’s mecca of fried chicken. I don’t think I did, but it’s good enough to satisfy a craving. Would I go back? Most probably when I’m hormonal and in dire need of comfort food. It’s casual food and no way near as pretentious – nor hipster-esque for that matter. Go if you need to feed the fat kid inside in your most comfy sweater and sneaks.
Do you like fried chicken? Where’s your favourite fried chicken joint?