79 Highgate Rd, Kentish Town
Chicken Shop is one of 3 Soho House Group food places to invade Kentish Town, just up the road from the forum, alongside Dirty Burger and Pizza East. The entrance is very minimalist to say the least, no sign on the door, just a 'Chicken Shop' bag attached to the handle. Walking downstairs there was a wonderful aroma of chicken and chatter from a full house, even at 10pm. Inside is a candle lit 50 style diner with food served in tin camping style dishes. I'd heard a few good things about this place from some other locals, so was looking forward to some chicken 'n' chips. As with most new London restaurants, it's no reservations, so if you are going The Vine is nearby if you have to wait a while.
Thankfully we only had to wait a couple of minutes for a free space, we were starving after an intense session with the local Mornington Chasers (gotta do something for the waistline eating out this much). Taking a gander inside this place really is no frills and chicken is at great value. £8 for half and £14.50 for a whole chicken. I was hoping a for a better version of Nandos. The chicken comes chopped up, make sure you check out the chopper with the massive cleaver and chain mail gloves, that job ain't for the faint of heart. With the chicken is 2 sauces either smoky or spicy, the spicy certainly had a fair amount of kick to it! The chicken however was a little disappointing, far too dry and some skin on the wings too burnt to eat. There must have been a bit of a cock-up. Some of the meat on the drumstick was still quite juicy and succulent but overall felt a bit underwhelmed. It's good value, but if you are going to do one thing (bar the sides) surely it has to be consistent all the time. On a plus side the management were quick to respond to our feedback and got a chance to try the apple pie, that I don't think I would of otherwise had.
Despite a rather disappointing chicken experience, being local I'll be back (hopefully it was just a bad night), if not just for that apple pie! If it fails to impress again I'll have to go back to roost in Nandos.