Homeboy and I were walking along Holloway Road and noticed the new Bird Fried Chicken Restaurant had opened. Some chicken loving friends were staying for the weekend, so we took them along on the Sunday for a lunchtime feast. This place specialises in free-range fried chicken which is crispy and crunchy on the outside while succulent and juicy on the inside. With Canadian influences (waffles and maple syrup) and Asian flavours (Korean and Japanese glazes, sauces and mayonnaise) it’s more interesting than your usual chicken joint. They also sell freshly made glazed doughnuts which are amazing! The first restaurant was in Shoreditch and this new LoHo (Lower Holloway) branch, is a welcome addition to the area. If you’re looking for fried chicken restaurants, restaurants on Holloway Road, places to eat in Islington or gourmet doughnuts London pop in for a feast at the Bird Fried Chicken Restaurant.
Restaurant Interior Signage
Bird Fried Chicken Restaurant Menu
The Canadian husband and wife team Paul Hemings (a former banker) and Cara Ceppetelli (chef) wanted to elevate chicken from the bargain basement (or should I say bucket) restaurants. It was a no brainer for them to posh up our favourite fast food with good quality and expertly cooked chicken. Theirs is 100% free-range and comes from a collective of small British farms which is delivered daily for freshness. This sets them apart from Cottage Chicken and all those other cheap chicken joints on every corner. Good news if you live nearby is that they also deliver.
Free Range Fried Chicken
You can order chicken wings (6, 12 or 24 pieces) or fried chicken pieces (2 or 4 pieces). The chicken is fried, so it is crispy on the outside but beautifully moist inside and not at all greasy. This is a winning combination, and they have got the balance just right so full marks for that. Your chicken can be tossed in a glaze, or you choose a side sauce instead. Glazes include Korean Gochujang (spicy fermented Korean condiment), Honey Ginger, Sticky Soy Garlic, Buffalo or Nashville Extra Hot. The sauce selection is Tonkatsu (Japanese style BBQ sauce), House Kewpie Mayo (Japanese Mayonnaise), Hickory BBQ, Buttermilk Ranch or Blue Cheese.
Our Food Selection
Alternatively, you can order Fried Chicken Waffles or the Original Waffle Burger which my friends tried. This is two boneless thighs with bacon, American cheese, hot sauce and Canadian Maple syrup served between two fresh griddled waffles. Ellis and Cookie said they enjoyed the fact that the chicken was crispy on the outside, it tasted super fresh and was seasoned perfectly, the sauce had a nice kick to it and the melted cheese was great. If you wanted something healthier to try the Asian influenced salads which include chicken.
Original Waffle Burger
Then you have a selection of chicken burgers with either crispy fried breast of the thigh and a combination of sauces and other ingredients. The Classic has spicy slaw, kewpie mayo and pickles. The Korean inspired Gee Gee features the gochujang glaze and kimchi slaw. West Coast has fresh guacamole, shredded lettuce, tomato, kewpie mayo and pickled jalapenos. The Nashville Hot comes with extra hot cayenne sauce, melted American cheese, kewpie mayo and pickles. Others come with bacon and cheese or Parma ham. We tried the veggie option which is a deep-fried beetroot patty with fresh guacamole, feta, chilli basil slaw, lettuce and kewpie mayo. The veggie burger was good with some great flavours, and I would order it again. Thanks for thinking of us veggies!
Sides include Fresh Cut Fries or Cheesy Korean Fries which have gochujang glaze, kewpie mayo and an American cheese sauce. The Creamy Slaw has a kimchi mayo. They also have Jalapeno Corn Pudding, Deep Fried Pickles and Korean Cucumbers.
Cheesy Korean Fries
The desserts included glazed doughnuts which change daily in-house. You can also order these from the hatch on the street with a coffee if you are too busy to eat in. I tried a delicious doughnut with honeycomb pieces which was so delectable I just wanted to order another straight away. You can also get an Ice Cream Doughnut Sandwich which my friends tried, and they were delighted. They also have Cherry or Honeycomb Sundae, Banana Split or just ice cream. Homeboy loved the Honeycomb Sundae and wanted to swap some for my doughnut, but I’d already finished it!
Drinks include coffee, cocktails, a couple of wines and an exciting selection of beers from Korea, Japan, London and New Orleans.
Bird Fried Chicken Restaurant Interiors
The restaurant is located in a former pub on Holloway Road which had been left abandoned and still retains some of the external tiles. Inside it’s spacious and airy with bursts of orange. Around the sides, you have seating booths with wooden benches which are very comfortable and can seat six people. In the middle, there are high tables surrounded by stools. To one side is the bar counter.
The décor is light industrial with the concrete floor and exposed air conditioning pipes. This is offset with the contemporary seating and fittings. I liked the Formica tabletops, which are printed with the cute bird symbol of their logo. Overall it was a pleasant place to sit and enjoy some tasty chicken. The staff were amiable, and it is undoubtedly a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.
Bird Fried Chicken Restaurant Holloway Information
Cuisine: Free range fried chicken with some Canadian, Korean and Japanese flavours and influences
Price: 6 chicken wings £6, 4 chicken pieces £13, burgers £8.50-14 and glazed doughnut £3
Website: Bird Restaurants
Address: 81 Holloway Road, London N7 8LT and the other locations
Near: Holloway branch is very close to Highbury and Islington tube station and Upper Street. Please note that on Arsenal match days the restaurant will be busy with football supporters
Open: Check online for current opening times
Décor: Light industrial and contemporary
Seating: Around 60 covers
Reservations: Not applicable
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London, one chicken image from Bird. Thanks: Homeboy, Cookie and Ellis for dining with me.