New? Yes! It only opened last month.
Where? 54 Commercial Street, Shoreditch, E1 6LT www.absurdbird.com
On the Menu: Chicken and a lot of it. Cotswold White and Cotswold Gold breeds are used in Southern US gourmet inspired dishes. There’s a wing section, sides which could be a meal in themselves, ‘greenish plates’ and indulgent puddings.
First Impressions: Visiting on a Thursday evening the restaurant was already pretty busy when we turned up at 7pm and continued to fill up as the night out – as soon as we were greeted we were told we must try the Dipsy Cake and we couldn’t possibly miss the wings, oh and we must have the sweet potato – clearly it was a place to forget about any notions of being healthy and just fully embrace the chicken.
The Look: Created by LSM Design, the restaurant is simple and yet full of little details. There’s lots of wood, the booths that line one side of the wall make it feel rather like you’re sitting in a crate. Kooky details come in the form of bird cages hanging from the ceiling, binoculars shining out light, words etched into the floor, combined with a great soundtrack and it makes for a fun atmosphere.
What We Ate: Taking everything the waitress said on board we got ordering, luckily you can take anything you haven’t finished home which we saw lots of people doing. We started with Hurricane pop-up, which is pop-corn flavoured with seaweed, sesame and bonito and a spinach and artichoke dip served with fried tortillas. It was cheesy, creamy and we finished every last drop, when we ran out of fried tortillas we just scooped it up with a fork. Next up buttermilk chicken with waffles and maple syrup. The waffles were crisp but wonderfully fluffy inside perfect for mopping out the maple syrup with. The chicken was encased in a crunchy, fried buttermilk coating, in places it was a little thick, but unlike the usual fried chicken offerings it wasn’t greasy at all.
Mac ’n’ cheese, whilst being very creamy and with a slight kick, lacked a cheese flavour which was a little disappointing, but a coleslaw salad was crunchy, refreshing and provided enough of a tang to cut through the chicken.
We thought we were done by that point, but no, we had to try the wings – we went for the smoked garlic, parmesan and lemon wings with a blue cheese dip. The wings were huge – we’re talking about the size of your hand huge, which is a testament to the quality of chicken they’re using – the breeds are slow growing and are reared 20% longer than other organic birds. This came with what could be effectively be a pudding – puréed sweet potato topped with baked marshmallow – sugary, sweet, but delicious. We finished with Dipsy Cake which we had been told was the pudding to go for – but we weren’t quite sure what all the hype was about. Sweet bread rolls were said to be coated in a whisky cream (although we couldn’t taste it at all) and were served with chocolate, salted caramel and cream sauces but I couldn’t help but think I should have ordered the peanut butter cheesecake.
Go With: Your friends, a fun second date, colleagues after work.
Final Word: Absurd Bird is a lot of fun, great staff, great atmosphere and delicious chicken. Soho, keep an eye out, Absurd Bird will be heading there soon too!