Restaurant review: Clutch, Shoreditch, E2

The interior is like an impeccably tasteful great aunt's parlour Pic: Thomas Bowles

The interior is like an impeccably tasteful great aunt's parlour Pic: Thomas Bowles - Credit: Archant

Everyone loves fried chicken, don’t they? Well I certainly do, but generally only get to eat it during furtive, angst-ridden, post-pub trips to places with names derivative of a certain colonel’s vast empire.

Some hot, spicy, finger-licking chicken

Some hot, spicy, finger-licking chicken - Credit: Archant

But no longer must us deep fried poultry lovers skulk in the shadows.

Clutch, on Hackney Road, is pioneering guilt-free fried chicken.

Not only do the hens themselves lead happy, carefree, free-range lives, but the drummers and wings are all cooked in the finest groundseed oil which, I’m reliably assured, is a less potent force for podge.

It’s an odd, but pleasant looking place. Sat at the bottom of an estate, it looks like an unsavoury, flat roofed pub that’s been painted bright yellow and had some fake grass plonked outside.

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It clearly works, because on our visit the garden was completely booked out.

So, we shuffled inside to a dining room that looks like someone’s eccentric, yet impeccably tasteful great aunt had run wild in Habitat.

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On offer, unsurprisingly, is chicken, chicken and more chicken, at least on the dinner menu.

Our soy and garlic drummers were huge, glazed, and packed with sweet, fiery flavour, while the curry leaf and sesame tenders (goujons) looked great on paper, but were disappointingly dry.

Best by far were the hot wings; sticky, sour and hot as heck, served with a wickedly creamy whipped feta dip.

On the side, the twice cooked fries were above average, the garlic crème fraîche could have had a few more cloves for me and the black pepper corn was a crunchy, buttery treat.

If you’re not a fan of fowl, this definitely isn’t the place to go – that’s basically all there is. But if you want to try some next-generation fried chicken, give it a shot, and not after five pints at the pub either.

Plus they serve some absolutely splendid signature cocktails to boot.

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