Places To Eat In London: Chick ‘N’ Sours, Haggerston
Okay, so it turns out that I’m horrendously out of practice taking good food photos in dark London restaurants, but do you know how good it feels to be writing my first Places To Eat In London post since I reviewed Arabica in Borough Market in January 2020? our decision to check out Chick ‘N’ Sours (which purports to do exactly what it says on the tin, serves up good sour cocktails and even better fried chicken) in Haggerston with a couple of friends for an early dinner was a very last minute decision on the drive up to stay the night and enjoy a lazy Sunday barbecue at my best friends house, but wow were all four of us glad we made the reservation. I for one can’t remember the last time I had side dishes so good, let alone such fantastic chicken.
Shall we start with the drinks? As the designated driver I did not have a chance to try the sour though it looked rather good and I was told it was tasty (though it was not jump up and down awesome, which the food most certainly was) but I was pleased to see a good selection of soft options on the menu, aka the full range of local Dalston sodas. Okay so the elderflower flavour is not as refreshing as a proper presse, but it was a good accompaniment to the meal and I certainly did not feel short changed.
Before we get on to the chicken proper, can we please talk about the sides which, actually, are what I think makes Chick ‘N’ Sours such a great place to eat? The Sichuan Aubergine was sweet, sticky, tender, spicy (but not too much so) and everything you’d want from the dish on being charmed by its description on the menu. I did not try the Bang Bang Cucumbers which looked and smelt amazing (a main aspect of the dish are the peanuts, and while I will eat almost everything I believe peanuts are proof that evil exists in the world) but I could eat bowl after bowl of the Pickled Watermelon Salad which I asked to come without. Juicy melon, doused in a tangy, savoury sauce, tossed with plenty of fresh mint, spring onions and chillis. I need to work on recreating this at home so I can eat it all summer long.
Okay it’s chicken time! Between us we had a bit of everything. The wings, you need to get some wings. You can get these insanely tender and juicy wings either plain, hot, or how we had them, a lip puckering, super addictive Kung Pao sauce and more chillies, spring onions, dried chillies and a small scattering of peanuts (I ate the ones from the bottom of the pile!) which are well worth getting to share: this is how chicken wings should be served.
The burgers are pretty much a meal in themselves: this is the K-Pop: a (massive) fried chicken thigh, gochujang mayo, chilli vinegar, Asian slaw and sriracha sour cream. Massive, juicy, succulent, everyone who ordered one was pretty much silent while they wolfed them down.
A big (seriously look at it, it was bloody massive!) plate of the chicken tenders landed in front of me. You get a choice of dip and I went with gochujang mayo (I will never not choose the gochujang option) which paired perfectly with the tender, juicy, perfectly crisp chicken, made super savoury with a sprinkling of seaweed flakes. It was hot, fresh, mouthwateringly-good. I don’t know if it is because the only fried chicken I’ve had in the past year an a half has been either from KFC or has come out of my air fryer, but both J and I were pretty obsessed with this meal.
Don’t get the chips. Don’t get me wrong, the beef dripping fries (there is also a vegan option according to the menu) are excellent: hot, crisp and everything a French fry should be, but they are just chips. And with all of the other frankly fantastic options on the menu, why would you fill up on something that is simply just ‘very good’?
The only thing I found a little strange is there was no dessert menu, but to be honest I don’t think any of us could have eaten another thing. But, if something sweet at the end of the meal is your thing, plan accordingly to hit somewhere else afterwards. Regardless, all four of us can 100% recommend a trip to Chick ‘N’ Sours; you can find them in Haggerston, Seven Dials in Covent Garden, and in Whitechapel when that branch opens up after lockdown once more.