THIS RESTAURANT NO LONGER SERVES HALAL 🙁
Although HGAT has been around for 4 years now, I have still managed to muster zero confidence when taking photos in a restaurant. When I would take my obnoxiously loud camera to the place, every little bit of me would die inside when taking quick and terrible snaps of each dish, and trying to avoid all the eyes of people thinking “why is she taking photos of her food?”. In the end, I had to switch to the camera on my phone for the sake of both my sanity and picture quality which has kept me going until recently, where I found that restaurants seem to thrive on their dark lighting, and my trusty iPhone just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
I either had to face my fear and bring my camera out again, visit during the daytime, or both. And that’s how I ended up visiting Chicken Shop three times within a short three-day period. You see, I first visited with friends, and I couldn’t stand using the flash on food (an absolute crime). I then visited the Holborn branch with Dad to find that their lighting didn’t permit any good photos either. So I manned up, grabbed my camera, and headed out once more for lunch to finally bring you guys today’s post.
Thick, creamy Oreo milkshake with a good cluster of crushed Oreos served on top. Mind you, this is a little heavy so be aware when ordering food.
The chickens are marinated overnight in a special rub (consisting of paprika, lemon, and garlic), steamed, and then placed on a rotisserie over a charcoal fire pit to get that lovely blackened and crispy exterior. Because it was just the two of us, we decided on a half portion of chicken to share with several sides.
The chicken arrived piping hot and fresh from the rotisserie, and served with a simple wedge of lemon that I squeezed all over. The chicken was simple but it was good; from the charred skin to the juicy flesh, it didn’t need the accompanying house Smokey and Hot sauces, but they were great for adding a pop of flavour. My only caveat would be that the skin could have been a little crisper, but asides from that, I was pleasantly surprised by how light this chicken was.
Humongous, bright green lettuce leaves and avocado slices that were dressed with a tangy mustard sauce. A lovely, light accompaniment to our chicken, and so filling that we didn’t need other side dishes, but there’s no fun in that, is there?
These were my favourite out of all the sides; large slices of red onion that were dipped in a thick, gloopy batter, and deep-fried to a lovely golden colour. Biting in. they were squidgy and had a nice sweetness from the onions.
Crispy, crinkly fries.
Keeping in line with the rest of the simple menu, there are a choice of three desserts: lemon tart, chocolate brownie, and a deep-filled apple pie, where all three are served with ice cream or cream. After much deliberation, we finally settled on the apple pie, which was a clear staff favourite, and within minutes, a waitress arrived with a huge deep dish of freshly baked apple pie. She asked us how much we wanted and not wanting to seem greedy, I pointed out a small portion which still seemed humongous!
I did find the apple pie to be a little heavy on the cinnamon and wish I had been given more of the crust, but it was a good way to end the meal and face the dreaded cold weather outside.
Come the end of our meal, we were both stuffed and I ended up taking the leftovers home for dinner later. The total bill for the above meal came to £35 for two, including drinks and service, so £17.50 each. Sure it seems a little pricey just for a meal that you can get a lot cheaper at your nearest Nandos, but over at Chicken Shop, you pay for a higher quality, more refined, and definitely tastier meal than elsewhere.
Seeing as I had visited before twice before, you can enjoy some of my terrible dark-light photography below.
Crunchy, fluffy sweet potato fries.
Having returned these at first due to them being cold, we were given a brand new portion that had been finished off on the grill, and brushed with a delicious herby garlic butter.
Creamy red-cabbage base coleslaw.
A fat hazelnut-studded chocolate brownie that was all warm and gooey, and served with a dollop of melting vanilla ice-cream. It had the perfect amount of sweetness, and I gladly scraped the creamy, chocolatey plate clean.
Please note that I’ve only managed to source halal in both the Holborn and St John’s Wood branches. This blog will be updated once I’ve heard back from all.