Last night I went out. Stop press! Not only that but I went out with the veggiequarian on a school night. I’ll go one further. I went out with the veggiequarian on a school night for fried chicken at the newly opened Billy And The Chicks where our mate Rob Pursey was serving up the finest side of Hip Hop and RnB. Yes. Fried chicken and Hip Hop. So many wonderful, and these days rare, elements in the mix here that it is no exaggeration to say my soul has been renewed (especially after the last two weeks).
Billy And The Chicks is a new Soho chicken shop serving free range, lovingly fried chicken with a side portion of nostalgia and nice vibes. The small but perfectly formed restaurant is a homage to Chef Billy’s teenage memories of Morley’s (a strictly South East London affair) and KFC, 90’s Hip Hop and the golden days of old. Instead of dwelling on the past, he’s brought it back to life and given it a new spin with his version of ‘The London Chicken Shop’. Free range from British suppliers and everything made from scratch. They even use Neil’s Yard cheese fam. Serious.
Having been craving fried chicken just the week before, it's no understatement to say I was overexcited about this outing. We weren’t sure what the veggie was going to eat, aside from chips, but that wasn’t important. I was going to have chicken and that was all that mattered. It’s safe to say I didn’t hold back when I ordered. I went for ‘The chicken’ burger with cheese, mac cheese, homemade gravy, chips and ribettes.
Now firstly, I have to give them huge props for using Miracle Whip, if you know you know and if you don’t then you need to get to know. I love the stuff but find most Brits don’t know about this American mayo that goes with chicken and turkey unlike any other mayo can. My chicken burger was huge, moist and really tasty. The chips were skin on and the right side of crispy without being dry. The mac cheese was pretty good, creamy and the right side of tangy which made it better than a lot of the tasteless versions all too often served up in ‘hip’ burger establishments. Despite being a self-proclaimed gravy snob, I’ll admit I love KFC’s gravy. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. This meant I was kind of expecting something the same colour and consistency at Billy’s which I didn’t get. This turned out to be a good thing as once I got over my initial reaction I was only too happy to dunk fistfuls of chips into their golden elixir. The veggie went for the Bermondsey Frier – Fried Neil’s Yard Bermondsey Frier cheese (that’s a mouthful in itself) in a brioche bun. His idea of heaven, everyone’s a winner baby.
We happily ate deep fried chicken and cheese, drank beer, met new people, chatted away about bygone years and listened to bangers spun by the multitasking DJ that is Rob Pursey (chicken in one hand vinyl in the other). It was fabulous.
My burger was a reasonable £8.50 with added cheese, chips, gravy and mac cheese were all £3 each. The only thing I’d change is not leaving room for one of an alcohol laced float and a deep fried apple pie but then there's always next time. Excuse the somewhat sketchy photography, my camera wasn't behaving and the restaurant was dark (I did not drink too much beer and poorly multitask!).
If you fancy checking out the ‘Chicken ‘n’ Beer’ Hip Hop RnB night, the next one is on the 23rd March. More info here