Billy and the Chicks (Free Range Chicken) – Soho, LondonHALAL STATUS All chicken is Halal (except the spicy variety – cooked in contaminated oil) • Alcohol served • DJ music nights
Well, that’s precisely what Billy and the Chicks offer down St Anne’s Court – chickens that are “free range Cotswold Whites, nicknamed ‘The Ballerina’ due to the way they dance around the fields”.
Now, while all chicken is Halal, the only variety that isn’t is the spicy-coated chicken, e.g. zingers, spicy chicken wings, etc., as these are cooked in oil that’s used for frying non-Halal meat.
In any case, the Islamic Center on Berwick Street is only a convenient 5 min walk from the place.
FREE RANGE HALAL CHICKEN
Starting with the business side of things, exactly how good was the free range poultry in comparison to its not-so-free counterpart?
Well, firstly, and quite unsurprisingly, they’re far dearer at £3.80 a piece (yup, per piece!).
What’s more, the textural contrast between the two wasn’t as obvious as you might think, paricularly when done battered like this. These were evidently less firmer in texture, but not appreciably so.
Taste-wise, since these were coated in a crispy batter, the touch of herby-heat was the dominent flavour. Additionally, these were a tad on the oily side too.
But, were they worth the £3.80 per piece price tag? That’s the question!
This is as unique a veggie burger as we’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring.
Nestled between two beautifully toasted brioche buns was a large, doughnut-shaped patty, with an ultra-crispy breaded encasing, which, when bitten into, released a copious amount of melted ticklemore cheese that was rich and creamy, with a floral-cum-herby taste. Couple that with the zesty lime and chive sauce topping, and this really sang the high notes.
The dish of the day for us, and one we’d recommend taking that turn off Dean Street for.
This Homemade Gravy sauce is an absolute must have!
The depth of flavour extracted for this Halal chicken stock was incredible. Still dreaming about this!
A red cabbage-dominated bowl of fresh salad which, while functioning as a palate cleanser of sorts, makes for a good healthy accompaniment to all that fried stuff.
While this predominately apple coleslaw bowl was really well executed, with the subtle sweetness of the coleslaw working well against the zingy apple therein, some may, on account of its size, find this difficult to finish.
Simple and well cooked macaroni with plenty of gooey cheese – what more could one ask for or further comment upon?
This corn on the cob was supposed to have been cooked with chilli oil. Sadly, the chilli didn’t come through at all.
Had the corn been grilled instead to give it that touch of smokiness, this could have really gone well with the gorgeously crispy shallot topping, which, truth be told, has the potential of being served as a stand-alone side in its own right it was that good.
Skin-on hand cut chips that were nice and crispy.
We couldn’t help but use the aforementioned Homemade Gravy sauce as a dip for this.
These fried mushrooms were great – small and addictive. And again, went wonderfully well with the Homemade Gravy sauce.
Thickly cut bowl of gherkins for £1.80?! Not sure where this belonged in the grand scheme of things.
Yup, that’s what it’s called! Now, if this name was chosen on the basis of the genuine first-time reaction of the guinea pig who tried this, then we can kinna appreciate that.
This really was bloody hot! It wasn’t anything unique mind you; just very hot, which begged the question: what’s the point?
The layer of the famed chocolate therein was hot, sticky, and just right in terms of quantity so as not to be overly sweet.
Instead, and lightly sprinkled with icing sugar, this was a simple little ending to our visit to Billy and the Chicks.
You’ll notice all that ice up top with the beverage at the bottom? Well, therein lied the problem.
A few sips and you were done; which was a pity really, because the initial taste of the intense kick of lime prematurely had us really excited us, until things died away towards the end.
A fresh, expertly made and silky smooth strawberry milkshake that had just the right balance to it.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- UBER EATS
While one Lion visited this restaurant last year only to come away not thinking much of The Big Poppa burger, they've certainly made some significant improvements, because this is one of the best burgers we've so far had this year, and that too a veggie version.
NOTE: While all chicken is Halal, the only variety that isn't is the spicy-coated chicken, e.g. zingers, spicy chicken wings, etc., as these are cooked in oil that's used for frying non-Halal meat.
And with the Islamic Center around the corner on Berwick Street, this is definitely option for a post-Jumu'ah bite.
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Billy and the Chicks
27-28 St Anne’s Ct, Soho, London W1F 0BN.
T: +44 (0)20 7287 8111 | W: billyandthechicks.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-23:00