I love a bit of chicken. I’ll even travel to Brixton to eat it, which isn’t quite as rough as I’d once imagined I’ll have you know, in fact, it’s rather trendy. But let me start from the beginning.
Wishbone is a fried chicken shop which is co-owned by Scott Collins – one of the guys behind Meat Liquor and it subsequently has a similar vibe. Loud music, trendy staff, stool seats and customers with greasy fingers. The restaurant is based in Brixton market which seems to be a culinary hotspot as it’s littered with nice looking places to eat. A return visit to the area is inevitable.
During our Tuesday night visit the upstairs area at Wishbone (which takes reservations) was closed so we sat downstairs near the bar. Bizarrely there’s no door to the restaurant thus making it rather bloomin’ cold. The heat lamps by the entrance were turned on in short bursts but nothing would have been able to defrost my little tootsies. To date I’ve never eaten in a colder place!
The simple menu was printed on a page of A4 paper and listed wings, thighs and chicken burgers with a few sides. It all seemed good value which was handy as me and my gentleman companion were starvin Marvin.
The salt ‘n’ pepa thighs with Asian mayo (£6) had been deboned and made into little battered chunks which were so addictive they may have actually been little balls of crack cocaine. The chicken was juicy and fatty and encased in a herby crunchy batter that seemed invincible to sogginess. Dunked in the tangy mayo it made each mouthful heavenly.
My gentleman companion went for the tower block burger (£7) which was a crispy chicken thigh topped with cheese, hash brown, jalapeños, slaw, onion and Russian dressing. It was huge and looked enticing in a heart attack inducing kind of way. Even with all those wet and sloppy toppings the battered thigh had remained delightfully crispy and the chicken was very juicy. Yummy.
Everything was served in brown paper bags, including the fries (£2.50) which made them go a little soggy – which is what you’d expect from a fast food chicken shop right? I loved them – really thin fries with a generous scattering of salt – totally moreish.
The chicken shop wings with house barbecue sauce (£5) were the only weak link in our meal. As before, the herby batter was mega crispy but the chicken was rather bland and tasteless and had a flabby skin. The barbecue sauce was good with a sweet tomatoey flavour to it but the wings just weren’t for us.
The highlight of our visit (and possibly my year) was the side of deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese (£4.50). It was as rich and unctuous as you can imagine yet it wasn’t oily or greasy and it was far from sickly. I like most things that have been deep fried so you can imagine my overwhelming happiness whilst eating this creamy cheesy macaroni cheese that had been covered in breadcrumbs and plunged into the depths of the fryer. I’m not sure it gets better than that!
We liked Wishbone and we would have liked it even more if we had sat upstairs, in the warmth. Apart from those wings, the chicken was great and I’d love to know how they keep that batter so crunchy. But the real star of the show was that devilishly delicious deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese. I’d go back for some more of that any day.