Over the past few years, people have begun to be more and more conscious of where their food comes from. To put it into perspective, the number of vegans in the UK has risen by 350% in the past decade, a increase driven primarily by a concern for the proper treatment of animals and the conservation of the environment. So what if there was a restaurant that helped to do both?
H.en is an ethical chicken restaurant based in Brighton, but launched a new London residency in Islington towards the end of July. With the help of Masterchef finalists Billy Wright and Jack Layer, H.en will be serving up a ‘beak to feet’ menu using high welfare chickens raised on Caldecott Farm, a small family farm in rural Worcestershire. Caldecott Farm chickens always have clean bedding, fresh water, do not suffer, and have access to daylight and food at all times. In addition, no growth promoters or additives are used, and there is full traceability, guaranteeing the finest quality poultry.
During its six month residency on Upper Street, the restaurant will aim to make use of the entire chicken, offering dishes from the classic chicken wings coated in sweet spicy hot sauce to a side of crispy chicken feet (exclusive to the London location). Elsewhere on the menu, chicken will be available grilled by the quarter or half. All of H.en’s chicken has a spiced buttermilk marinade and from there guests will have a choice of three marinades: a classic sweet and tangy BBQ; a rich and savoury South American-style Red Eye; and a hot chilli with plenty of kick to it. The H.en Burger can be served with pulled, fried or grilled chicken and is then topped with chicken skin, mayo, lettuce, tomato and pickled cucumber. And if the chicken feet are a little too adventurous for you, then choose from sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, sauerkraut or a slaw salad to accompany your meal.
As for the drinks, H.en has concocted several signature cocktails such as Holy Hops (cachaça, mint, lime, agave and West Coast Citrus IPA) and the H.en Bloody Mary. Craft beers will include Bedlam IPA, Freedom Organic Lager, Hiver Honey Beer plus regular guest brews from local microbreweries. Their wine list changes regularly, but always features organic bottles from independent producers.
Animal lovers, rejoice!
H.en is open Monday-Thursday from 6pm to 11pm and Friday-Sunday from 10am to 11pm.