The team behind Chick ‘n’ Sours in East London, opened in Covent Garden earlier this year much to our delight. Pop-up restaurant veteran Carl Clarke launched the original Chick ‘n’ Sours in Haggerston with collaborator David Wolanski and ex-Milk & Honey cocktail man Sam Dunne nearly two years ago with a simple concept of a simple menu made up of fried chicken and a few sides and sours to wash them down with. Unsurprisingly it was an instant hit.
Now we have one locally (to us at least) and it’s equally divine. The interior has been designed by Carl along with his friend and neighbour Camilla and the band The Specials, Horace Panter helped with artwork! Housed in the basement of what we’re told was once a lingerie shop the restaurant is pretty cosy (only 40 covers) but the large mirror on the wall gives the illusion that the room is twice as large as it is, the art work and quirky decor makes this a unique offering; Manchester print blocks on one wall, loo doors which were once scientists works tables in the bathrooms and vintage tiled bar with high chairs.
Food wise the Haggerston favourites feature here too alongside a few newcomers such as Mexinese Nachos, a hot, spicy, gooey play on Mexican & Chinese food using corn tortillas for the nachos and a spicy Szechuan ‘ragù’ using minced chicken, smoked bacon, Szechuan pepper and fermented chilli. Like all nachos it involves cheese – only this time it’s kimchi flavoured cheese sauce and topped off with spring onions and fermented jalapeños.
Carrying on the oriental vibe in the beginning section, Carl has created XO Pineapple: cubes of pineapple together with a sauce made of XO sauce, toban-fermented chilli, Korean ssamjang, lime and peanuts. A spicy, sticky and sweet start to the Chick ‘n’ Sours meal. A new addition to the hugely popular Disco Wings is a Hot & Numbing version with Carl’s take on a Mala spice rub made of Szechuan peppercorns, chilli flakes and heaps of other spices plus there’s sangria cocktails as well as a few new sour additions.
We can never resist a guest fry or a burger so we opted for Carl’s new creation the ‘Colonel Burger’ which he reckons is ‘the perfect Chicken Sandwich’ based on a classic chicken sandwich – he was inspired after his travels to NYC and eating many chicken sandwiches as ‘research’. For drinks we opted for a D’N’T Sour (Vodka, cucumber, Elderflower, white wine, sour) and a Tahoma cocktail.
Thanks to Carl’s musical background as a DJ in the past and his family ties to Turnmills nightclub (RIP), the music is always on point with an ever changing playlist of hits.
We can’t wait to go back for some more of the delicious disco wings. We’ll be seeing these guys (a lot) and very soon!
Chick ‘n’ Sours, 1 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LL