Only in London would you find a restaurant selling fried chicken for £21 a bucket. Yes, you read that right.
At Clutch Chicken in Hoxton, a bucket of buttermilk fried chicken, a side of fries and some coleslaw will leave you with little change from £30. But perhaps surprisingly, I am not going to tell you that the prices are a bad thing, because I loved Clutch.
The interior of the restaurant was a big surprise to me. I was expecting them to have made the most of their strapline – ‘the home of guilt-free fried chicken‘ – and used this for interior inspiration. By this, I mean lots of natural materials, an earthy kind of feel – you know what I’m getting at. What I didn’t forsee were the long, mirrored, almost regal dining tables, the elegant mirrors, the modern roman candle arrangements and the matt-gold crockery. I was smitten.
We started our evening with a couple of excellent cocktails – the ‘Basil Buckeye’ did not, as I feared, taste like alcoholic pesto, but instead was full of gin, lemon and frothy egg white with only the slightest herby hint. The ‘Rooster Rumble’ on the other hand was like a lighter, shorter version of the classic Dark & Stormy, with rum, apple and ginger served in a martini glass. Delicious.
When the pièce de résistance arrived, it was served in a shiny silver bucket, with our side orders of twice fried fries and creamy coleslaw in separate pots on the side. The chicken itself was glorious. All of the crunchy, tasty sinfulness of a KFC bucket with none of the guilt and absolutely no grease whatsoever. The meat was white, tender and juicy, and thanks to the fact that it is all sourced from free-range, rare breed birds, the portions were enormous. The fries were as they should be, fluffy on the inside and crispy on the out, but my one grumble is that the coleslaw was unremarkable at best, especially for £4. Other options on the menu include boneless curry leaf and sesame ‘tenders’, sour & spicy chilli wings, and a brunch of chilli scrambled free range eggs and halloumi. Drool.
Yes, Clutch Chicken is expensive. But one to add to the list if you fancy trying out the poshest* fried chicken known to man. *(Seriously, it even comes with a finger bath).