What? Award-winning fried chicken goodness in all its glory now served in Shoreditch.
New? Whilst the permanent restaurant is, Butchies has actually been around for five years. Back in 2013, Garrett Fitzgerald started a fried chicken stand at Broadway Market’s school yard. Opening a fried chicken stall in London is rather like putting on the YMCA at a wedding, you know it’s going to be a popular. Long queues saw Butchies move to Broadway Market’s main area the following year and then last November they made the move to Rivington Street and settled in their own permanent chicken coop.
Where? As seems to be the way with fried chicken places, it has of course moved to Shoreditch, I can but hope that one day a chicken shop will move to Fulham. Catch them at: 22 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3DY www.butchies.co.uk
The Look: Designed by Block1 Design, the space is small; it says there are 45 covers, but unless you were packed in quite literally like chickens, (not of course like the chickens used at Butchies, they are slow reared free-range chicken and have plenty of space to roam around) then I’m not sure how that would work. Divided over two floors, the shop has a minimalistic, industrial feel to it with exposed brick walls, sheets of corrugated iron and neon signs throughout.
On the Menu: As the menu says, ‘all day e’ryday’ it’s about the chicken sandwiches, stuffed with their fried buttermilk chicken. Or you’ve got their award-winning ‘kimchi honey-butter wings’ that was awarded 1st place for the Judge’s Choice Award at Wingfest 2017. If for some reason you wanted to go to a fried chicken shop and have a salad then you can do that too, they’ve for the Butchies salad box with chicken, halloumi, guac, lettuce and house pickle. Sides include cheese fries and nuggets. They’re not so big on the sweet side (there is actually nothing sweet), probably because they know that you’ll be stuffed.
What We Ate: I need to confess that I made a rookie mistake, I ordered the nuggets. That’s not to say they weren’t a good choice, because they were excellent, but why did I order a side of fried chicken to go with my chicken? Even if they did arrive in an egg carton, I should have gone for the cheese fries. That said if I had ordered cheese fries, I would have had two sides of fries as I also went for the buffalo halloumi fries and you have to order them. Thick slices of halloumi in batter and served with a strong blue cheese sauce. I’ve seen Nandos are now doing halloumi fries and I can bet they aren’t going to be a patch on these, even if they are a bit cheeky.
The main attraction of course were the sandwiches. First up was the Jenny from the Block, a squidgy soft butter toasted bun, loaded with guacamole, chipotle mayonnaise to give a kick, smoky bacon and a hunk of fried buttermilk chicken which wasn’t greasy at all, just a crispy outside and beautifully succulent chicken. I’m told that the reason it’s so tender is because they’re the first UK street food trader to use a pressure fryer specially imported from the US and as we all know the US know how to fry chicken.
We also went for the Cheesy Rider, which as the name suggests is all about the cheese, in this instance melted red Leicester, I like my cheese overflowing, so it could have done with a little more just to really emphasis the cheese. The house pickles were an interesting element, a little saltiness is always welcome and if you want fire, then add Butchies hot sauce.
The fried buttermilk chicken really is the star here which is a relief, it would be a tad awkward if it wasn’t. And next time (because there definitely will be a next time) I think I’ll go for The Original: chicken, Butchies garlic and herb mayonnaise and house pickles, so the star can shine even brighter.
What We Drank: After a weekend touring the Prosecco region, I was in no fit state to drink again, sure my blood levels had grown accustom to being heavily diluted with alcohol, but my liver was less than impressed. Giving it a break, I went for the upmarket version of the Sprite, the San Pellegrino Lemon, which I was loving until I discovered it had 33% of my daily sugar intake, should have just gone for the Perrier sparkling water. If you haven’t had a merry time in Italy then they have a succinct wine and cocktail list, beer and cider are their thing. You’ll find the likes of Pistonhead lager, Revenant Eve craft cider and Goose Island 312, wheat ale.
Go With: Your date, hear me out, the first date you’re keeping things causal, the second date you step it up and you want to impress. By the third date you’re at the point where things are more relaxed. After a few beers you need something fried, carby and delicious and you don’t mind seeing your date with a dribble of hot sauce down their chin and their face hidden behind a giant chicken sandwich.
Final Word: These sandwiches are good, seriously good. The staff is friendly, the music is on point. If I could, I would add this into my weekly repertoire so it’s probably lucky that I don’t live nearby because otherwise there would be no stopping me.
Butchies: 22 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3DY