Tramshed – House Farm Chicken

Hall of Slime

Nando’s ain’t the only place you can get a full chicken at. And it’s certainly not the coolest. And it certainly doesn’t have a cow in formaldehyde floating above the dining hall.

At Tramshed, one of HIX’s several restaurants across the capital, you can get your fix of inordinate amounts of chicken, with a presentation that’s as savoury as it is filthy. Kind of what we’re all about here anyways.

Once this perfectly cooked bird arrives to your table, complete with succulent stuffing and a hearthy dose of chips, you’ll never go back to ordering ¼ or ½ chicken ever again. Full chicken is the way to go, regardless of how many people you’re sharing with.

Slimy? Straight from the oven to your table, this thing is shinyyyyyy

Satisfying? Tastes as good as roasted chicken can possibly taste

 

Tramshed
32 Rivington St, London, EC2A 3LX
http://www.hixrestaurants.co.uk/restaurant/tramshed/
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fried chicken Chick 'n' Sours House Fry haggerston

Chick ‘n’ Sours – House Fry

Hall of Slime

It’s like in The Godfather: once you’re out, they pull you back in. That’s how and why I end up coming back to a place. Because when after the first time it was such a ridiculous attack on the culinary senses, I just had to try what else this palace to all that is chicken and fried had to offer. At least I was cool enough to go before they expanded to Soho.

fried chicken Chick 'n' Sours House Fry haggerston

And back here we are, again at Chick ‘n’ Sours. This time not for the crazy, coma inducing burgers, but for their signature dish, the House Fry. Which, incidentally, is also very much crazy and coma inducing. Two massive, expertly fried pieces of tender and still moist chicken, accompanied with watermelon slices (yes, I didn’t understand the fruit either, but… it kind of works?). The crunchiness and texture of the fried chicken skin is unparalleled, and will make you instantly regret every single visit to every chicken shop EVER. Which is expected, I guess, when they actually sell pieces of skin as appetizers. Go figure.

fried chicken Chick 'n' Sours House Fry haggerston

Can I give any more praise than being a repeat costumer? Yes. I could be a threepeat costumer. Guess I’ll have to come back for the Whole Fry Sunday

 

Slimy? Go on. Get dirty. Use your hands. The fork will just slow you down. And do eat ALL the skin. It’s allowed and endorsed.

Satisfying? So good even the Chicken Connoisseur would approve.

 

Chick ‘n’ Sours
390 Kingsland Rd, London, E8 2AA
http://www.chicknsours.co.uk/
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Shippo - Oyako Don rice donburi japanese market food east london brick lane

Shippo – Oyako Don

Hall of Slime

All aboard! All aboard the Shippo! Direct route to Japan!

The sheer amount of different stalls at the Sunday Up-Market in Brick Lane is outstanding. Pretty much every cuisine you can imagine is somehow represented, and it’s an attack on the senses worthy of a Moroccan market.

Shippo - Oyako Don rice donburi japanese market food east london brick lane

Tight! One move and it’ll expolode

But Shippo is different. From the bizarre menu (I had never heard of any of the dishes before), to the fresh cooked food in front of your very eyes (no “hours cooked” noodles here), it’s not hard to understand why it stands out.

Shippo - Oyako Don rice donburi japanese market food east london brick lane

Looks even yummier when you dig in

I ordered the Oyako Don. It’s one of those times when you order and have no clue what the meal will look like. Marinated chicken mixed with omelette, seaweed and onions, all over a bed of rice, make for one strange looking box. But a very satisfying box at that.

Shippo - Oyako Don rice donburi japanese market food east london brick lane

Sticky means easy for chopsticks

So come aboard. The Shippo is about to embark! The destination? Doesn’t matter. It’s the journey that does. And this is one delicious journey.

 

Slimy? This mixture of japanese delight sticks together like glue. Handy for chopsticks.

Satisfying? An oriental delight, and also a fairly hearty one. You won’t starve on this journey.

 

Shippo
Sunday Upmarket (at Truman Brewery)
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Nando's - Peri Peri Full Chicken south african food roast chicken

Nando’s – Peri Peri Full Chicken

Hall of Slime

Nando’s has this strange stigma. For some reason, a lot of people hate it. Or at least pretend to hate it. Maybe it’s because it’s everywhere. Maybe it’s because they don’t like chicken. But it’s a cause for concern.

Nando's - Peri Peri Full Chicken south african food roast chicken

Isn’t this the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen?

Why is it worrying? Because Nando’s is, in fact, great. It really is! By focusing on chicken, and solely on chicken (at least on their main dishes), they churn out some deliciously roasted birds with surprising, even scary efficiency. No wonder they’re everywhere!

Nando's - Peri Peri Full Chicken south african food roast chicken

Chicke-eye view

Take this beautiful specimen, their full chicken, done Peri Peri style, and glossed over with their mango spice (spicy enough for me, thank you). Go on and tell me it doesn’t look gorgeous. And with a battalion of crazy peri peri sauces to choose from, which also go great with their peri salted chips, there’s no way to get tired of it.

Nando's - Peri Peri Full Chicken south african food roast chicken

Draw me like one of your French birds…

So screw you, Nando-haters. I, for one, love Nando’s. And I strongly believe Nando’s loves me. That’s why there’s been a Nando’s a block away from every single flat I’ve lived in London. And that’s six different flats if we’re counting…



Slimy? You must finish any chicken with your hands. So have napkins at the ready: this will end badly.
Satisfying? If there was a prize for “most underappreciated chain”, Nando’s would get it. It’s just damn good chicken.

 

Nando’s
Everywhere in London (though this one was at their North Greenwich branch at the O2)
https://www.nandos.co.uk
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Misato - Chicken Katsu Teriyaki fried chicken japanese chinatown

Misato – Chicken Katsu Teriyaki

Hall of Slime

Here’s a challenge for you. Try to find a cheap place in London’s Chinatown. Done? OK, now try to find one that’s also delicious. Not so easy now, ah?

Even though it might be cheating a bit, considering Misato is, after all, a Japanese spot, it’s not like Chinatown has many authentic Chinese places to begin with. And really, who cares. With dishes that are below £6, like this huge and delicious Chicken Katsu Teriyaki one, you won’t care either. The place might not look fancy, but that’s irrelevant. It’s Chinatown after all. You’re here for the food, and nothing else.

Misato - Chicken Katsu Teriyaki fried chicken japanese chinatown

Look close into the Teriyaki void

A deliciously katsu-style fried chicken, with an incredibly gooey teriyaki sauce, and served with enough rice to topple an empire, this one doesn’t just qualify as a great deal in Chinatown, it might very well be the BEST deal, period. Oh, and it has salad as well. In case you care about health and stuff.

Misato - Chicken Katsu Teriyaki fried chicken japanese chinatown

Teriyaki air view

So go ahead. The challenge stands. I shall keep looking, but chances are, I’ll just keep coming back to Misato.

 

Slimy? A teriyaki pool of gooey awesomeness. Handle chopsticks with care

Satisfying? Immense taste for a non immense value. Just perfect

 

Misato
11 Wardour St, London, W1D 6PG
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Hungry Donkey - Plate Me Up Chicken east london souvlaki greek tzatziki

Hungry Donkey – Plate Me Up Chicken

Hall of Slime

Greece has seen better days. Post olympics fallouts, economic downturns. Certainly not the greatest century in Greek history. But what is Greece to do we do when things go wrong?

Simple. Food. Lots and lots of food. When things go wrong, we resort to food. And when it comes to delicious food in big sizes, few can do it like the Greek. And so it happens that Hungry Donkey, taking pride in its name, serves some succulent and massive dishes of Greek inspired cuisine right in East London.

Hungry Donkey - Plate Me Up Chicken east london souvlaki greek tzatziki

Bird’s eye view of a… bird

The Plate Me Up Chicken is a Souvlaki style roasted bird, and comes with great chips, cherry tomatoes (you know, for health and stuff) and some glorious tzatziki. Mix it together, have it separate. It doesn’t matter. This is great anyway you want it, and if you’re Greek, it’ll make you forget the bad years and look ahead for the good ones. And if you’re not Greek, it will make you wish you were.

Hungry Donkey - Plate Me Up Chicken east london souvlaki greek tzatziki

The Greeks do quantity AND quality!

Not hungry anymore, I left Hungry Donkey as just a regular donkey. Which is exactly the kind of donkey I want to be.

 

Slimy? If only there were enough tzatziki to just cover the whole dish!

Satisfying? If you’re hungry after this, then you’re one strange donkey.

 

Hungry Donkey
56 Wentworth St, London E1 7AL
http://www.hungrydonkey.co.uk/
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Chicken Shop - Half Chicken roast chicken holborn

Chicken Shop – Half Chicken

Hall of Slime

There’s nothing wrong with Nando’s. Absolutely nothing. So if people around you claim they don’t like it, just assume they’re snobs . Or chicken snobs. So clearly when I show up at Nando’s and… Wait a second. This isn’t Nando’s. This looks different. WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?!

Chicken Shop - Half Chicken  roast chicken holborn

Aerial view of the feast

It’s Chicken Shop. Call it upper class Nando’s. Call it posh chicken. Call it whatever you want. Truth is, they make some outstandingly yummy chicken, all roasted in front of your very eyes.

Chicken Shop - Half Chicken  roast chicken holborn

The Feast!

Choose size (half chicken is a good size to share), sides (fries and coleslaw can do no harm) and smother it with some tangy and spicy sauces, and you’ve got one seriously tender,  very un-Nando’s like chicken. Your call if that’s a good or a bad thing.

 

Slimy? Once it’s bathed in the glory of the sauces, it will be.

Satisfying? Chicken is always good. This chicken is better than good.

 

Chicken Shop
199-206 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD (and other locations)
http://www.chickenshop.com/
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Chick N' Sours - Bun Fried Chicken Burger Chilli Vinegar

Chick N’ Sours – Bun

Burgertown

I received a map last year. A treasure map, if you will. Given to me at the last National Burger Day by the cool guys from PYT Burger, who were visiting London and trying its cuisine. They told me something akin to “We have tried some great stuff, but nothing has been greater than THE TOWER OF CHICKEN”. Intrigued, I waited for the right time to find out what exactly they meant.

X marked the spot. And the spot was Chick N’ Sours. Nothing, and I really do mean nothing, could have prepared me for what I very naively thought was just a regular fried chicken burger. Upon ordering the simply named Bun, the waiter looks at me with a wary stare, almost as if asking: “Are you sure?”. Of course I’m sure. I travelled the seas in search for this mythical Tower.

Chick N' Sours - Bun Fried Chicken Burger Chilli Vinegar

Behold… THE TOWER OF CHICKEN

And then it comes. This thing is so tall and majestic, you can spot it from miles away. With a humongous piece of Korean fried chicken, some special mayo, slaw and chilli vinegar, this Tower of a sandwich can scare any of the lesser mortals. But not me. For this burger is as ridiculous as it is flavorful. And messy. Incredibly messy. In the best of ways.

Chick N' Sours - Bun Fried Chicken Burger Chilli Vinegar

Chicken doing evasive maneuvers

So if you’re interested in following the map, this is me spreading the secret. Find the X. Find the Tower. Find salvation in chicken.

 

Slimy? After I finished, they brought me some baby wipes to clean myself up. I must have looked reaaaaaally sexy.

Satisfying? Once you reach the top of the Tower, you’ll be desperate to climb the next one. It’s that good.

 

Chick N’ Sours
390 Kingsland Rd, London E8 2AA
http://chicknsours.co.uk/
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Negril – Jerk Chicken

Hall of Slime

Ahh… the Caribbean. The breeze, the beach, the crystal blue sea. All those add to the allure of the region. But one thing stands above all else when it comes to true, Jamaican roots, and that is Jerk Chicken.

It’s no wonder that Brixton serves the best Jerk cuisine in London, but it’s always great to stumble into a place that’s not in the Brixton Village, but that is equally good, if not better, than anything else over there. A few blocks away from the tube, you’ll find Negril, a small, family run (or at least it looks family run) joint, serving all sorts of Jamaican fare.

Negril – Jerk Chicken Jamaican food Brixton

Just pick it up and give it all a nice, gravy bath

But stop looking at that menu and just get the chicken. Specially if you’re hungry. You’ll get as much Jerk Chicken as you need (that’s half on the picture, because I’m a beast), with two sides (plantains and rice for me!) and some of the greatest sauces to bathe that bird in. Just one look at the reflective coating the gravy will give your chicken will make you as relaxed as a Jamaican would be when doing… pretty much anything. Add some BBQ and some really spicy sauce on the side, and this dish is a winner.

So as much as I still probably believe that Cool Runnings is the most Jamaican thing outside of Jamaica, Negril happily shares that first spot on the list.

 

Slimy? So many sauces. You’ll pour them all in at the same time. And you will chillll

Satisfying? You’ll need a hammock after this meal. That’s how good (and full!) it’ll make you feel

 

Negril
132 Brixton Hill, London SW2 1RS
Website
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Makatcha – Beef and Chicken Rendang

Hall of Slime

There’s so many “rice in a box with toppings” options in London markets, that it gets difficult to differentiate them. Chicken always tastes like sweet and sour chicken, and all cuisines, from Thai to Chinese to Vietnamese end up looking the same in many places.

Then you find something special. A stall called Makatcha, selling rendangan Indonesian preparation. On top of rice. And you think, “surely it will be just another lackluster sweet and sour chicken”, specially because who knows what rendang means (Wikipedia to the rescue!).

Better box than a Happy Meal. Makatcha - Beef and Chicken Rendang

Better box than a Happy Meal

But screw it, I’m a daredevil. I laugh in the face of danger (second The Lion King reference for those keeping tabs on this blog). So I ordered a mix of Beef and Chicken Rendang. Served with some rice and veggies, this is one strong flavoured, fairly spicy dish. And all I kept thinking is how incredibly delicious something that at the beginning seemed so ordinary was.

I feel truly sorry for all those random Camden market stalls selling ordinary Asian cuisine. This is the stuff of dreams, and this is what “food on top of rice” should always be. Just plain delicious.

 

Slimy? You can feel the oily goodness from a distance while looking at the cooking pans. This is one strong dish

Satisfying? Never will you look at market food the same way again.

 

Makatcha
Check their Twitter for location (I had it at Winterville)
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