Chick'n'Sours is on Kingsland Road in Dalston, it's pretty hipster round there in my opinion, and anything goes, so me and my camera were probably the least most exciting things for anyone to look at. I took along one of my best mates - she's affectionately known as Biffy - and although she doesn't blog herself, she's really into reading blogs, and totally gets what it's all about. She gave me the encouragement I needed to man up and shoot our feast, bouncing into the restaurant pointing at me and announcing loudly - she's a blogger, can we take photos? - much to my deep embarrassment! Our lovely waitress seemed surprised we'd bothered to ask - a symptom of our instragram and selfie generation I suppose - and so with that we proceeded to take the seats with the best lighting, and set about choosing some chicken, and some sours.
The concept is both simple and genius. A menu filled with freshly fried chicken dishes with Asian inspired flavours, and a list of deliciously sour cocktails to accompany it. I'm not overly familiar with sour cocktails - I've heard of an amaretto sour, although I've never tried one, and that's about it. I'm a lover of sour things, and a huge fan of cocktails, so there wasn't much chance I'd hate these, and I didn't, they're amazing. I went for a tasty Raspberry number with gin, and Biffy had the Paloma Sour with tequila. They went down rather quickly and easily, but at only £6, who's counting?
We ordered starters to share, which is how you'll need to roll if you eat with me, because I simply have to try everything. I homed straight in on the disco wings in sticky sauce - I wasn't expecting them to be battered and then sauced, and found that a bit odd when they came to the table, but I actually really liked them. They were very lemony, but also sweet at the same time, and a little bit spicy. We both loved these and agreed we could have eaten a whole plateful each. The szechuan aubergine was Biffy's choice, and she loved it, while I thought it was just alright. The batter was light and crispy, and the flavours of soy and chilli were just right with a good amount of heat.
Another round of cocktails later, and our mains had arrived. Biffy couldn't resist a second Paloma Sour, whereas I of course needed to try the other gin cocktail on the menu. It's called gin 'n' tonic, but it was far superior to your standard G&T as the gin is blended with fresh lime, syrup and sours. I preferred this to my first cocktail, and it was absolutely lush. If only it hadn't been a school night.
Biffy ordered this monster of a chicken burger which she could barely get her face around, much to my amusement. I'm not sharing a picture of her attempting to eat it because I'm a nice person - either that or it's because I want her to back me up on future blog related food adventures. Biffy's burger was the Korean fried thigh with gochujang mayo, chilli vinegar and crunchy slaw in a brioche bun, and we got fries to share. The brioche was fresh, soft and squishy, just as it should be, and the chicken was crunchy on the outside and juicy in the middle. Again we thought the flavours were just right - spicy but not overly so. Biffy liked the slaw, which was fresh and crunchy, but thought there was a little bit too much of it.
I went for the simple but not to be underestimated chicken tenders, and chose the St Agur & Buttermilk dip, which I think, is possibly a posher version of, or a flashier name for, blue cheese dip. I used to hate blue cheese, but then again, I also used to hate coffee and olives - our tastes evolve as we grow up I think. I started to like blue cheese about two years ago, after I first tried Buffalo wings in the states, as they always come with blue cheese dip. Now I'm borderline obsessed with the stuff (as well as with Buffalo wings), so if something on a menu comes with blue cheese dip, that's what I'll be ordering. Shame I can't get addicted to cucumber dip or something equally low calorie, but such is life.
The dip was life changing - I had to ask for another serving, because it was seriously that good. The portion of tenders was really generous - I almost couldn't finish them. The coating was light and crunchy, and the chicken inside lived up to its name - really tender and juicy, and of course they tasted even more amazing dunked in the blue cheese dip. I liked these so much that I didn't stop telling people about this meal for days, and I'm desperate for an excuse to get back to Dalston asap.
Despite deciding we were very full and needed to pass on dessert, one word of encouragement from our waitress was all we needed to find ourselves sharing this quirky ice cream. It's a salted milk chocolate soft serve with white chocolate and miso popcorn. I love soft-serve ice cream, or whippy as I like to call it, and the salted chocolate flavour was lovely and rich. We were probably a bit too full to enjoy it properly, but I'm pleased we didn't miss out. The popcorn was tasty, and a nice contrast, but slightly chewy and not quite crunchy enough. The menu at chick'n'sours changes frequently, or at least part of the menu rotates, and it seems the popcorn has now been replaced with miso crumbs anyway. Not sure what they're all about... maybe I'll need to get back down there to find out :)
Suitably stuffed, and slightly squiffy, we were all too amused by our bill arriving in an egg, and with temporary tattoos! It was all fun and games putting these on our arms at the restaurant with the aid of an ice cube, but it seemed less of a good idea when I realised I still had it on at work the following day. Actually someone thought I'd got a real tattoo... as if!
Our bill came to about £30 each, which we thought was totally reasonable, and we joked about how you hardly notice how much your bill actually is, what with all the fun and distration of the egg and the tattoos. Very clever Chick 'n' Sours, very clever!
You'll find Chick 'n' Sours at 390 Kingsland Road, and the nearest tube is Haggerston or Dalston Junction. www.chicknsours.co.uk
What do you think? Shall I share more foodie adventures with you?