In the last few months Tooting has seen a veritable cornucopia of exciting new places. Tooting’s always been known for it’s great curries and friendly pubs, but this is different. There’s a new burger place, a great independent coffee shop and now one of Kentish Town’s finest has ventured south of the river.
Situated a stones throw from Tooting Broadway, it’s decidedly trendy – faux wood panelling, fancy stools and a simple menu. We sat at the bar which stretches around the open kitchen. Watching the slowly rotating chickens is strangely hypnotic. The wine list is almost spartan. They have three categories of wine (house, decent, good) all available by the glass or jug. We chose the red good which was reassuringly robust and peppery – a lovely match to the roast chicken.
Let’s get this straight right from the start. This is not Chicken Cottage, KFC or Nandos. These are really quite enormous free range chickens, marinaded for 24 hours, gently cooked in a steam oven, covered in a spice rub, roasted on a rotating spit over applewood and charcoal and then seasoned generously. It’s phenomenal chicken – crisp on the outside, moist on the inside and wonderfully spiced. Two sauces are available, a seriously hot chilli and a deliciously smokey one.
We tried most of their sides – the chips are excellent – hand-made and crispy – the coleslaw has a nice tang and the salad was well dressed.
If you can find room after hoovering through a mountain of poultry – the apple pie is absolutely gorgeous. Served straight from the dish there’s crisp pastry, cinnamon and industrial quantities of butter. Autumnal heaven.
Chicken shop is my kind of restaurant – unpretentious and friendly. It picks one thing and does it incredibly well. It’s fantastic value with half a chicken coming in at £8, I can see myself spending quite a lot of time here. Grab some mates – knock back a couple of jugs of wine and enjoy the best chicken this side of the channel.