I Feel Like Chicken Tonight | Absurd Bird, Commercial Street, London
The night before we tried Absurd Bird I had a craving for KFC. ‘No’, I said to myself, we’ve got fried chicken tomorrow – good fried chicken (from what I’d heard).
London is overrun with fried chicken places, competition is high and there’s no room for anything mediocre, not when you have competition from the likes of Chic ‘n’ sours, Joe’s Southern Kitchen and BIRD – to name just a few.
We arrived hungry and ready to satisfy those aforementioned urges. We loved the look of the place, cute little booths, mock telephone wires are strung across the ceiling and bird-cage lighting – brilliant and quirky interior design. The staff were really professional too, they all seemed on it, enthusiastic and well-trained.
Cocktails were OK, but they are all pour, mix and serve ones – we didn’t hear shaking going on. Ade’s sour wasn’t really a sour, no egg white, disappointing but drinkable. Thinks perked up when the Buffalo wings (£6 for 4) arrived, Ade really should write a post on the best in London as he orders them wherever he goes – with the King’s Road Big Easy in the lead. Well, was in the lead – then these massive Absurd Bird ones came along and have taken top spot.
I knew that I had to have the Chicken and waffles with smoked sweet gravy and maple syrup (£11). Ever since I first discovered the dish in LA it’s been a must-order item for me, last eaten at Dirty Bones. Absurd Bird’s version looked good but unfortunately the free-range chicken was quite bland, the Southern fried the coating lacked a decent amount of seasoning which fell off with even the lightest touch of my fork.
Ade went for Big Mama’s Favourite (£14 for ½ a chicken) – Southern style smoked chicken served with sweet gravy. A great smoky flavour, really good but the actual meat was quite dry.
Corn bread pudding (£5.50) to the rescue – warm, soft lovely and sweet. Ade happily filled up on this whilst I admitted defeat and undid a button on my jeans. Make that two buttons.
We had to try a dessert, it’s essential for a fully-balanced review if nothing else. We opted to share the Crack pie (£4.80) but found it overwhelmingly sweet.
We’re sad that this branch of Absurd Bird didn’t fill us with joy and that the restaurant was fairly empty with everyone seemingly at Som Saa across the road. A friend of ours has nothing but praise for Absurd Bird in Soho – maybe we should have tried that branch.
What we did love was their marketing, look, logo and artwork and, of course, those Buffalo wings. They have a branch in Exeter too, we reckon that will do so much better, we really do hope so.
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday – 9am – 11pm
Thursday to Friday – 9am – 12am
Saturday – 9am – 11pm
Sunday – 9am – 10.30pm
Book a table online
Nearest station: Aldgate East Station (4 mins walk)
We ate as guests of Absurd Bird, this does not affect our review in any way.
We always write with complete honesty.