How many of you have sat down in a restaurant in a capital city after work over the past two weeks and really thought about where you were? When I lived in London I was eating out at least a couple of times a week in the packed city centre, enjoying myself with friends, and I still grab a bite and a couple of drinks after work when I can in the city. If you've thought twice about making dinner plans in the fortnight since the simply horrific attacks in Paris where ordinary people were murdered out enjoying a Friday night out with friends, don't. How better to honour their memory than to keep on enjoying the things that are a part of our way of life that they are no longer able to, and that the people who killed them seek to eradicate?
Speaking of after work spots to grab a bite to eat and a cocktail or two, Sherin and I headed to Dirty Bones on the top floor of Kingley Court (a floor up from another one of our joint loves, Señor Ceviche) off Carnaby Street after work last week for a catch up. In other news, how awesome are their (standing lamp) lamp shades hanging from the ceiling? A smaller detail, but I also love the subtly different cocktail glasses above the bar.
Speaking of cocktails, Dirty Bones runs a Happy Hour Monday to Friday from 3pm-7pm (Tuesday to Friday, 5pm-7pm at their Kensington location) where you can double up for free on any cocktail from their special Happy Hour menu (a smaller selection from the main cocktail menu). We went for the Djinn Djinn, a blend of Bombay Sapphire Gin, Martini Rosso, Fresh Grapefruit, Raspberries, Cucumber and Ting. Slightly sweet but with a good bitter edge from the vermouth and grapefruit, this goes down really well and goes wonderfully with everything else we went for on the menu. It I were not driving, this offer would probably have had more!
Wherever we eat together, if they're on the menu Sherin and I have to kick off our meal with a plate of chicken wings to share. Dirty Bones' offering was particularly spectacular, some of the best wings I've had in a very long time. Their zingy lemon glaze was stunning, the chicken crisp, and the chilli and spring onion topping added some extra contrast and freshness. Order these to munch with your drinks while you're waiting for the rest of your food to arrive, promise? Good to share if you're eating early, but if the restaurant has filled up a bit, get one each to enjoy while you're waiting for the rest of your dishes to arrive.
We decided to get two half options of the two different fried chicken options available. The classic fried chicken (served with a grilled lemon wedge and dusted with lemon zest) was beautifully moist, but perhaps a little greasy. However, the fried chicken smothered in Bourbon and marshmallow sauce, and sprinkled with sesame seeds was absolutely divine. Not too sweet or not too tangy, it perfectly complimented the chicken, and I wish that we'd ordered all six pieces covered in it. Some of the best saucy fried chicken in London.
Initially I had no idea what to order on the fries front, but while I was waiting for Sherin the couple on the table next to me had these chilli fries plonked down in front of them; french fries, sprinkled in chilli salt, fresh chilli's, chives, and served with chilli sauce on the side. Delicious, and surprisingly not too hot (unless you choose to actually eat the chilli slices, of course! Neither of us were that brave.)
We both fancied something a little sweet after, so we shared the 'Milk and Cookies', a (perfect) chocolate ganache cookie and a little cup of deliciously creamy milk gelato. Such a clever dessert, and a really lovely classic flavour combination (well I think it is classic, I don't actually drink milk) which was stupidly more-ish. I stopped towards the end as I was pretty full, but then kept on picking up my spoon again!
I'll be going back to Dirty Bones again for sure for more wings, more happy hour cocktails, more smothered fried chicken, and to try their hot dogs which looked fantastic when other people were ordering them; I want to try the Asian Dog complete with kimchee ketchup! This is a great after work spot to meet friends, and it does not hurt that you need to walk past the Liberty Christmas chocolate store and the beautiful Carnaby Street Christmas lights to get there from Oxford Circus.