Chicken Shop (Rotisserie) – Ealing BroadwayHALAL STATUS • Halal chicken only • Prepared and cooked separately • Applicable across ALL Chicken Shop branches
Located in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre’s food court is the recently opened Chicken Shop.
With a large capacity of 125, including outdoor seating available during the summer months for an additional 25 courtesy of its retractable doors, the place itself boasts a rustic interior with lots of character.
A fully manned open kitchen houses an impressive array of grills, with a large rotisserie situated to the far end. An impressive wooden-based decor coupled with a sky blue colour scheme makes up what is a fairly well lit restaurant.
More impressive is the fact that the Chicken Shop cooks and prepares its Halal poultry using both separate utensils and an entirely separate grill space thereby guaranteeing zero risk of cross contamination with the pork and beef on the menu.
Do not under any circumstances underestimate the Chicken Shop’s signature burger on account of its seeming simplicity!
Not only was the crispy batter of this Fried Chicken perfectly seasoned, but the thigh itself, attractively nestled in-betwen a lightly toasted and beautifully golden soft bun, unbelievably moist and juicy.
Couple that with the gentle heat from the generous dollop of chipotle mayo, the sweet-tanginess of the tomato, and the crunch of the fresh gem lettuce leaf, and what you get, in terms of sheer simplicity alone, is one of the best chicken burgers we’ve had in a while.
In fact, putting aside the impressive ones had quite literally down the road at GBK, which we wouldn’t necessarily classify as simple, we’d have to go back to March 2016 and BRGR.co in Chelsea, viz. the Chicken Breast Fillet BRGR, for something comparable.
A cracking little burger and one of the highlights of this review!
Perhaps it’s the euphoria of the recently concluded FtLion Awards 2017, but despite it being early days, we wouldn’t be surprised if this was shortlisted for our Best Burger award later in December.
Another simple sandwich, and one which was, in its own right, a good one.
And though one Lion believed the ciabatta could have added some texture had it been “more crispier”, the relish had a nice tanginess to it which along with the guacamole spread, the tomato, and the layers of crunchy lettuce underneath, made for a pleasant bite.
NOTE: The streaky bacon (the only pork ingredient on the menu) was removed. We suspect, therefore, that the absence of an equivalent Halal substitute may have affected this adversely. We can imagine a good quality Halal turkey rasher, for instance, lending some much needed smokiness to the dish.
Who would have considered celeriac and polenta to work so effectively in this Grilled Veg burger.
It’s true that this comprised of a number of ingredients, namely: celeriac, polenta, mushrooms, garlic, parsley, baby gem, mozarella, caramelised onions, and tomato salsa, but in all honestly, they worked so well together as a whole.
While the patty was thick, well cooked, with a slight bite to it, there was a good marriage between the sweetness of the caramelised onions, the tomato salsa, and the pungency of the beautifully melted, gooey mozerella cheese.
This is an original burger that revolves around subtle flavours of the salsa and the onions.
The last rotisserie chicken we had, and one which absolutely stunned us to our collective core, was at Clockjack in Woolwich. Sadly, and much to our surprise given how good their burgers were too, it soon closed following the publication of our review (no, don’t blame us; blame Brexit!).
Now, to say that the Chicken Shop’s locally sourced whole Chicken wasn’t as good should only point to how exceptionally good Clockjack’s was.
And though this wasn’t as expensive, that isn’t saying much when you compare it to everyone’s favourite, Nando’s, where for £3 more, you also receive a number of sides.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t pale in comparison when it comes to taste or texture.
Given that this was steam cooked, not only was it wonderfully moist and tender, but being fired on wood and charcoal also helped to intensify the flavour of a chicken that had already been marinated for a solid 24-hours.
As such, it had a beautifully crispy skin that delivered a wonderfully sweet-cum-smokey paprika, oregano and garlic taste.
However, unlike Nando’s, whose famous sauces are finger-lickingly good, the Chicken Shop’s two bottled sauces weren’t quite up to the mark. The Smokey flavoured one was fairly insipid, with a tomato-like taste, and the Hot Sauce, while having good heat, wasn’t much better.
What more could you ask for from wings that are soft and succulent on the inside, and covered in an addictively crunchy panko-style herby bread crumb coating?
Now, although we weren’t too keen on said bottled sauces, their in-house variety was far better, more authentic and fuller in flavour.
Take the Korean sauce, for instance. which, while being liquidy in consistency, had a sweet edge and a gentle smokiness to it.
The equally watery buffalo, however, was far more intense, with strong heat that was nicely offset by the addition of a zingy vinegar base.
As for the Sriracha Mayo, then this tangy flavoured, semi-thick sauce had some decent heat that came though later.
A plate of crunchy grilled gem lettuce spruced up with a mild peppery-cum-minty sauce. A nice little dish, though nothing spectacular.
Not quite! Despite being charred, these Padron Peppers turned out squidgy, and only got worse as they sat there sweating in the plate.
A decently grilled broccoli dish, though no where near as good as the last one we had around a month ago at the award-winning Zelman Meats.
This, while being large, was drizzled in butter, sprinkled with a good amount of almonds and a few slices of chilli. However, it was the strong flavoured pickled shallots that brought some much needed flavour to this bowl.
Crispy kale indeed; but one which was so bitterly intense that it could do nothing save split the crowd, and split the crowd it did.
While one Lion found it an interesting munch, though only with a good squeeze or three of lemon we might add, the other two thought it far too overpowering. Hence, while one said he “wasn’t at all keen on the kale” with “more than one bite [being] far too overwhelming”, the other considered it “bitter and off putting”.
Good crinkle cut twice-cooked rustic chips that were nice and crunchy, while being soft on the inside, just as they ought to be.
All authentic cold-pressed juices that were, in their own unique right, rich in flavour and very different.
Whilst the familiar heat of the ginger was discernible, it was the Ginger version’s lemon-base that came through the strongest.
The Green was refreshing in an altogether different way, however, with the taste of the spinach and kale coming through the most.
As for the Citrus though, then the initial wallop delivered by its orange and chilli combo stole the show for us.
Simply put, all three were really good, with the Citrus being deemed the best one.
What an incredibly delicious and well balanced dessert this was, with the combination of crispy cinnamon pastry top and the tangy sweetness of the rich apple going well with the smooth vanilla ice cream.
To borrow a line from Twin Peak’s Dale Cooper: “They’ve got a cherry apple pie there that’ll kill ya!”
Wow; now that’s a brownie; and certainly one of the better ones we’ve had for a while.
This had that perfect soft-fudgey texture along with the addition of almonds that offered that crunchy contrast.
More importantly, however, not only did it have that delightfully deep chocolatiness that ultimately defines a good brownie, but also a generous scoop of the vanilla ice cream that helped cut through all that richness, making this an addictive little dessert.
Where did they pull this Panna Cotta out from? And what a fantastic surprise it was too.
An perfectly textured and expertly made Panna Cotta – smooth, soft and delicately creamy, which was just sweet enough to marry against a fairly tart berry compot with a pleasant bitter edge.
- YES/ YES
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- LOCAL DISCOUNTS
The place is large, inviting and impressively decked out, and caters for Halal chicken, while ensuring that its preparation and cooking is done entirely separately from any pork on the menu.
While the chicken dishes certainly impressed, some of the sides turned out to be quite underwhelming. We have it on good authority though, that the menu is currently being tweaked, with some items being replaced for newer ones.
The Chicken Shop's service also came across as well regimented, extremely efficient, friendly and always to hand.
Local discounts are available where applicable, so be sure to enquire into that.
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