Best Roast Chicken

Posted on 20 July 2015

Best Roast Chicken


Whyte & Brown

Whyte & Brown

Part of London’s chook-themed craze, Whyte & Brown’s offer is given over to the humble chicken. A variety of flavours jazz up the free-range birds, even if ordering two courses of poultry seems a bit daft: how about chicken & pork scotch egg or maple & chilli glased wings followed by half roast chicken (an obvious signature dish), souvlaki, grilled fillet burger or pulled barbeque sub. There are also some veggie options in the shape of corra linn cheese & onion filo pie and and endive & kale salad with walnuts, apples & celeriac, plus desserts such as dark chocolate & beetroot pudding. To drink, there’s a good selection of craft beers, wines and cocktails. The place looks good, in a trendy warehouse style, with heavy glass lights, communal tables, floral upholstery and an animated courtyard terrace.  Open for all day, including breakfast.

Whyte & Brown

Chicken Shop Tooting

Chicken Shop Tooting

Following the success of their original Chicken Shop in Kentish Town, the guys from the Soho House Group have launched another one-trick pony celebrating the delights of roast chicken. Expect a similar vintage ‘general store’ look with red chequered floors, diner-style tables, red stools and a long wooden counter, plus a menu chalked up on the wall. The basic offer revolves around free-range Norfolk chickens – marinated, steamed, then crisped-up on the rotisserie. As before, back-up comes from generously portioned sides served in blue-rimmed enamel dishes (crinkle-cut chips, coleslaw, corn-on-the-cob), with chilli kicks provided by the house ‘hot' sauce. Finally, ‘say when’ and choose the ‘size of your slice’ when it comes to sweets such as deep-filled apple pie or lemon cheesecake. Takeaways and picnics, too.

Chicken Shop Tooting

The Jugged Hare

The Jugged Hare

“Fantastic place, really different, but not for the faint-hearted (unless you’re a complete carnivore)”, says a fan of The Jugged Hare – a well-polished gastropub from the ETM group, who also run the nearby Chiswell Street Dining Rooms. With its stag’s heads on the bare brick walls and strung-up rabbits by the toilets, it’s an unabashed celebration of huntin’, fishin’ and shootin’, with “top-quality game” as a standout feature of the seasonal menu: grouse, wild duck and venison shank (with crushed turnip cake and Cumberland sauce) all have their moment, but don’t miss the titular jugged hare – an extremely rich concoction served with heaps of creamy mash, cabbage and bacon. Starters of Brixham scallops, black pudding and cauliflower are filling and well-seasoned, while puds include sweet banoffee pie with salted caramel drizzle. Portions are huge, wines are carefully paired to each dish, staff are “faultless” and the whole place “delivers every time”.

The Jugged Hare

Chicken Shop High Holborn

Chicken Shop High Holborn

Following the success of their original Chicken Shop in Kentish Town, the guys from the Soho House Group have launched yet another one-trick pony (they also have outposts in Crouch End, Whitechapel and Tooting) celebrating the delights of roast chicken. Expect a similar vintage ‘general store’ look with red chequered floors, diner-style tables, red stools and a long wooden counter, plus a menu chalked up on the wall. The basic offer revolves around free-range Norfolk chickens – marinated, steamed, then crisped-up on the rotisserie. As before, back-up comes from generously portioned sides served in blue-rimmed enamel dishes (crinkle-cut chips, coleslaw, corn-on-the-cob), with chilli kicks provided by the house ‘hot' sauce. Finally, ‘say when’ and choose the ‘size of your slice’ when it comes to sweets such as deep-filled apple pie or lemon cheesecake. Takeaways and picnics, too.

Chicken Shop High Holborn

Clutch

Clutch

Right between buzzing Columbia Road and happening wine bar Sager & Wilde in Hackney, Clutch has hopped onto the dude food trend with a clear conscience, serving ethically sourced, free-range fried chicken to a widely varied demographic. Set in a freshly painted former pub that’s attached to a well-maintained ex-council estate, the slick interior design cues hint at a dining experience that’s aiming far higher than your usual bucket of KFC, with brass-topped tables and monochrome zigzag floors demanding guests’ attention. The menu offers half or whole buckets of chicken, ‘Love Me Tender’ goujons and ‘Put a Wing On It’ chicken wings – with each option offered in two different marinades. Stand-outs are the fresh-flavoured lemon and parmesan goujons served with a rich truffle aioli, and the signature sweet soy and garlic chicken bucket - the rich, sticky, tangy marinade is incredibly moreish. Inventive dips and sauces such as whipped feta add a fun twist, while side options include an earthy beetroot salad. There’s a short cocktail menu to boot – spice fans should try the chilli chicklet, a refreshing mix of tequila, lemon juice and red chilli that cuts through the richness of the food brilliantly.

Clutch

Chicken Shop & Dirty Burger Whitechapel

Chicken Shop & Dirty Burger Whitechapel

With branches of the Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger already doing great business, the guys at Soho House decided to bring the two concepts together under one roof for this new opening in Whitechapel. As you might deduce, the menu is all about chicken and burgers, with signature ‘hot’ and ‘smokey’ sauces, appropriate sides and various veggie options tossed into the mix – plus the added attraction of breakfast and brunch (don’t miss the poached egg and avocado or the brand-new Dirty doughnuts). To drink there are special cocktails, craft beers, real ales, wines, sodas and shakes. The high-ceilinged dining room has been given an industrial feel, with makeshift seating, pipework, exposed brick and a record player for spinning your own vinyl discs – otherwise ‘pick up and go’ from the counter or take advantage of the alfresco summer seating.

Chicken Shop & Dirty Burger Whitechapel

Roast

Roast

“What’s not to like about ‘meat and vegetables’?” quips an admirer of Roast – a determinedly patriotic eatery dedicated to the glories of traditional British cuisine. Built on a mezzanine floor in Borough Market’s iconic Floral Hall, it promises “fantastic views” from its handsome, light-filled dining room. We’ve been many times for breakfast and never been disappointed, although booking ahead is essential. If you’re more interested in lunch or dinner, you’ll find “reliable” and expertly sourced dishes prepared with a fair degree of dexterity, from Portland crab salad or Scotch eggs with piccalilli to braised ox cheek on creamed onion sauce or whole grilled sea bass with fennel and capers. The menus are keenly seasonal, so also expect spring lamb, summer fruits and game too (“this is the only place to eat grouse after the Glorious 12th”, insists one fan). “Always enjoyable” Sunday roasts naturally get the nod, and the Brit-accented drinks list is also on the money.

Roast

The Jolly Butchers

The Jolly Butchers

‘Free house’ proclaims a sign behind the well-stocked bar of this remodelled pub on a newly energised stretch of the High Street. To eat, there’s ‘unmolested proper pub food’ (fish & chips, grilled rib-eye, Cumberland sausage), as well as beer and cheese pairing suggestions (farmhouse French Brie and De Koninck Belgian beer, perhaps) and excellent Sunday roasts. But The Jolly Butchers is really all about the stuff on tap, and there’s a seriously good selection, changed frequently and Tweeted to fans. A cask has been known to sell out in a matter of hours thanks to the thirsty flocking in. Will yours be an American pale ale or a weissbier from Germany? Or maybe you’ll stick near to home with the impressive selection from London brewers, such as the Camden Town Brewery, Meantime in Greenwich and Tottenham’s Redemption Brewery.

The Jolly Butchers

Chicken Shop Kentish Town

Chicken Shop Kentish Town

Freeing fried chicken from its high-street chains, this small but growing operation is run by the hip folk at the Soho House Group. Branches have already sprouted in Tooting, Whitechapel, Holborn and Chicago (yes, the one in Illinois). Down in a woody, retro-styled basement beneath Pizza East (also part of Soho House), Chicken Shop focuses on just the one thing: spit-roasted free-range poultry – quarter, half or whole chickens – served hot, smoky or as they come. Add a few sides such as crinkle-cut fries or corn on the cob, squeeze in a lemon meringue pie at the end, and Bob’s your uncle. So, what’s the word on the bird? The chicken arrives tender and moist, with appropriately crispy skin: a winner. Heineken comes in a can, Camden Pale Ale and Moretti are on draught, and wine is served in jugs. There’s even a takeaway to eat in front of your TV.

Chicken Shop Kentish Town

The Crooked Well

The Crooked Well

Sitting snugly on one of Camberwell's finest Georgian streets, this high-ceilinged, high-spec gastropub looks the part with its worn floorboards, metro tiles, vintage lighting and Toile de Jouy wallpaper. The kitchen delivers “consistently good food” and fashionable plates ranging from crispy salt-and-pepper squid with spiced mayo to mackerel with white beans, courgettes and chorizo or pork belly with sauté savoy cabbage, sage and apple purée. Sharing dishes such as chicken, leek and wild mushroom pie or pineapple sponge with golden syrup also make this a great choice for a dinner à deux, while midweek lunch deals (Tues-Fri) offer two courses for a tenner. Ales from the likes of Butcombe and Whitstable Bay get the thumbs-up and the wine list ventures beyond usual pub clichés. The Crooked Well also has some of the “most friendly and welcoming staff in London”, according to one regular.

The Crooked Well