The Dirty Chicken Burger Shop… Or Something Like That | Chicken Shop & Dirty Burger St John’s Wood
You know the scenario, one of you wants a big juicy burger and the other rotisserie chicken and a salad. So what’s the solution? Well I think we have it, Dirty Burger & Chicken Shop, both conveniently located under one roof in leafy St John’s Wood.
Tucked away just off of St John’s High Street on Allitsen Road (next door but one to a soon to be opened Ivy Cafe) is the answer to most, if not all, of your date night dilemmas. A burger blow-out for him and a butter lettuce and avocado salad for her – plus a few other less stereotypical options. This is how the Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger combo covers all the bases. Relate has nothing compared to my relationship guidance expertise!
This is basically two brands sharing one space and so the decor has been made to look subtly different in the two ‘halves’ of the restaurant. The front section is closer to the usual Dirty Burger sites, with an industrial feel – dark wood up-cycled planks on the walls, faux exposed brickwork, heavy steel lighting – you know the look! But this isn’t as edgy or grungy or as loud as their normal stand alone sites, they wouldn’t want to upset their chicken lovin’ cohabitants now would they?
Downstairs, well by three steps, is Chicken Shop’s zone (although you can obviously order from the joint menu wherever you plant your bum). Here the industrial theme continues, maybe more brick, less wood and a little brighter – thanks to bulkhead lights on the wall, metal wide rimmed pendant lights and the high vaulted clear glazed skylight. This space is a little more homely, in fact it reminded us slightly of Home in LA. Helped along by the open kitchen, some retro US style diner tables and heavy wooden cupboards, whilst the chicken framed pictures add a little kitsch fun.
The cocktail menu is small but well-considered, what else who you expect from a restaurant owned by Soho House. There’s a nice little selection of beers and wine too but, as usual, we kicked off with a couple of cocktails (all £8 each) a classic Negroni for me and a light and refreshing gin-based Eastern Standard for her.
Now I love a good burger and Dirty Burger‘s offerings are slowly creeping up my list of London’s best. Only last week I fell in love with a Dirty Bacon (£7). I was expecting a rasher or two of thin, crispy streaky bacon. But no, what I got was two monstrously thick slabs of pork!
I was craving more of the same but Saff was adamant that I (and my belly) should calm things down and go for the relatively healthy option – chicken. This is where I played a blinder. ‘We should try one dish from each restaurant’, I say slyly. ‘But, oh! Dirty Burger’s monthly special contains cheese!’ Knowing full well that Saff doesn’t eat cheese. ‘You go ahead and try the chicken, I suppose I’ll have to order the Spicy Royal’ I add. Mission accomplished!
Saff had a 1/4 of the rotisserie chicken (£6) – moist on the inside with that blackened crisp skin that can only be achieved from spit-roasting over charcoal. The fact that are marinated overnight, and steam cooked beforehand is simply a bonus! Saff paired this with the Butter lettuce and avocado salad (£6) – the perfect bloat-free option (she’s trying to be good at the moment and is on a diet, I give it a week.)
I, on the other hand, went double dirty with the Spicy Royal special (£10) – two patties, blackened chipotle peppers, a big dollop of chipotle mayo and cheese. Now this was HUGE, I even had to commit the cardinal burger sin and attack it with a knife and fork. The chilli provided just enough heat to excite my taste buds and the meat cooked just how I love it – pink in the middle and charred on the edges.
But the best bit was how the cheese clung to the beef, almost encasing the whole patty – I need to learn this grilled cheese method at home. And what’s a burger without its fries? Nothing! And these Crinkle cut fries (£4.50) are simply perfect for dipping in Chicken Shop‘s own brand smoky tomato sauce.
Before ‘pudding’ we, (or rather I) needed and little breather and a sneaky loosening of the belt. I used this down time to ordered a rather good Espresso Martini whilst Saff decided that their special Eton Mess milkshake (£5) would act as a drink and a dessert. Her milkshake was thinner than expected, this was overshadowed by its amazing strawberry hit matched with a not-too-sweet meringue flavoured cream (told you this diet wouldn’t last long.)
Dessert was a choice of three good-old classics. Lemon tart, Chocolate brownie (both £5) and a deep-filled Apple pie (£6), all served with cream or vanilla ice cream. We were planning on sharing the lemon tart until the waiter insisted that we had the apple pie too, we were so glad that he did.
A massive portion of pie served at our table from a huge dish fresh from the oven, the pastry was light and flaky, the apple still had bite while its subtle cinnamon and caramel sauce held all the flavours together – time the loosen the belt another notch…
The lemon tart was declared one of the best that Saff’s ever had, with its sharp citrus filling and a hint of ginger in its crumbly biscuit base, absolute heaven.
So there you have it… Something for everyone. Well almost, they don’t do pizza. If you want that, then you’ll have to pop along to Pizza East – Soho House owns that too! I wonder how long it’ll take till all three of these brands are all under one roof? Not long I wager.
128 Allitsen Road
St John’s Wood
Telephone: 0203 757 4849
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 12pm-11pm
Fri & Sat: 12pm- midnight
Sun: 12pm- 10pm
Nearest station: St. John’s Wood Station (5 mins walk)
We ate as guests of Dirty Burger & Chicken Shop, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.