In case you don’t know Chick ‘n’ Sours is a fried chicken restaurant with sour cocktails, ‘like vinegar to chips’ says owner/chef Carl Clarke who met co-owner David Wolanski at the Latitude Festival back in 2010 to hatch this venture. (No pun intended!) They have ‘House-Fry’ mainstays such as the Drumstick & Thigh, seaweed crack and watermelon and monthly changing ‘Guest Frys’. On the cocktail front Sam Dunne a former mixologist of Milk & Honey is at the helm shaking up the matching sours in tequila, vodka, pisco or bourbon guises. They first open their doors back in April 2015 and if you like fried chicken you will revel here.
Our view from the little window bar.
First impressions are good.
The Hikaru Sour (£6) (hikaru means light in Japanese) is a splendid drink and goes down too quickly in my opinion. The recipe can be seen here.
Four Pure Season IPA (£5), I’m loving this London based brewery for producing this citrusy little number. It’s ideal drinking for this type of food.
Sneak peak of the main gaff.
Disco wings – Hot (£7.5). They can in a choice of naked, sticky or hot. Both myself and my dinner date having a penchant for heat we naturally opt for hot. There’s sweet, sour, savoury and of course some fire but it’s all balanced and neither flavour component interferes with one another. They come out steaming and are a hoot to eat. (Wet wipes are supplied).
Szechuan Aubergine (£5.5). They look like little clouds of chicharones and but are really deep fried crispy puffs of battered aubergine. Even though it lacked the mouth-numbing szechaun spices, the sesame and sweet soy dressing made it compelling to eat. You can’t help but to dig into the the one’s at the bottom which have been soaking in the sauce. They were seriously like crack and a mighty fine addition to our meal.
Pickled watermelon, peanut & corriander (£4). My mind and taste buds gravitate towards trying new combinations and flavours, this was no exception. The light pickling only enhanced the juicy watermelon and it was a refreshing accompaniment to our rich meal.
Dripping Fries (£3.5). Definitely not good for the waist line but definitely good for the taste buds. The marrow BBQ dip was a naughty thing too.
Guest Fry – Drumstick & Thigh (£11). Blackbean and ginger glaze, spring onion, pickled bamboo shoots. If you can’t see the Asian influence here I’m not sure you’re from this planet! It’s Cantonese-led and a wonderful concoction, why wouldn’t this delicious thing work? The House Fry has the edge though.
House Fry, Drumstick & Thigh, Seaweed Crack, Pickled Watermelon (£8). Crispy gnarled skin = more surface area which is conducive of candy-like crunch sounds when bitten into! Apparently the batter is a secret blend which includes cornflakes for extra crispiness. It really is good fun to eat and the chicken inside it steamy and dreamy.
An egg which hatches a bill?
Remember to wear your tattoo next come you come for a free cocktail! (These were given out with the bill, a clever ploy to bring you back!).
The damage: Expect to pay £30-£40 per head for a lot of food and drinks
The good: I can’t deny that I had a lot of fun eating here, there’s not a lot else you can ask for having an Ibiza chill soundtrack, classic soul and hip hop playing in the background whilst indulging in that juicy chicken. The service was fast and friendly, I also loved the Asian inspired plates too especially the Szechuan aubergine. If you like fried chicken with a unique crust (someone in the world will disagree) you’ll revel here. I’m also intrigued by their Weetabix soft scoop which I’ll try when I visit again as I was too full this time around.
The bad: It’s a little out the way, you might call it a neighbourhood gem in Dalston.
390 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AA
Phone: 0203620 8728
Closest tube/train station: Hackney Downs Railway