Restaurant review: Bird, Shoreditch, EC2

Bird, in Shoreditch Pic: Ed Reeve

Bird, in Shoreditch Pic: Ed Reeve - Credit: Archant

A Shoreditch restaurant is revamping fried chicken with a menu that is sure to ruffle feathers on London’s food circuit.

Bird, in Kingsland Road, is hoping to reinvent the speciality of America’s Deep South, following the reimagining of the humble burger in recent years.

With the obligatory copy of VICE magazine by each table and the restaurant’s recycled beer bottle wall, Bird is more Dalston than diner, but it captures a bright and lively atmosphere even on a weekday afternoon.

“Free range and fried” is how Bird describes itself; it’s a long way from the grease-dealing chicken bars that populate most London high streets.

Gluten-free


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With fresh chicken delivered daily, then smothered in a gluten-free crispy coating, Bird’s crusade against fried chicken stereotypes starts from the first bite.

The two we tried were tender and flavoursome – faultlessly cooked – while the house coleslaw and corn pudding came recommended and didn’t disappoint.

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An overall sugariness pervades the menu; waffles and maple syrup with bacon and cheese toppings featured prominently – and my sweet tastebuds were a little overloaded – although I’m sure the honey and ginger glaze I chose for my chicken breast didn’t help this.

But the week’s cocktail, the Margorita (named after a staff member), had a note of bitterness that was perfectly balanced to our plates.

Other than that, the beer was local and the glasses chilled, both ticks in my book, and while chicken is their thing, dessert was a treat.

Thanks to home-made doughnuts with a fresh selection of ice creams and sauces every week, our meal ended with smiles all round.

Bird is only in its 20th week, but book ahead as it’s already a local favourite.

Selling out of the menu is not unheard of and guests are happy to queue for a bite.

Bird promises the best free-range fried chicken you’ve ever tasted – I think you’d be hard put to prove them wrong.

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