We remember going to Wishbone in Brixton market a few years ago, an upscale fried chicken joint with a focus on sour cocktails. It was quite the novelty, and the Korean wings were pretty good. It eventually became what is now CHICKENliquor, and turned out to be the precursor for what is now a deluge of chicken focussed places in London.
Chicken wings are the fucking best, so this development is not an unfavourable one. As with burgers though, the profusion of higher end chicken gaffs means having to wade through the mediocre in order to find the memorable. We've been to a fair few of them, there are plenty more to go, but a few friends had been banging on about this amazing place we had to go to before all others. But it was in Haggerston, what a ballache. Then they opened up on Seven Dials. Less ballache.
Chick 'n' Sours isn't a million miles away from the premise of Wishbone, in fact it's pretty much next fucking door: A short menu of fried chicken items, a few sides, and a focus on sour cocktails - it is the Ronseal of restaurant names. There's a super cringe old school desk at the entrance but the main room downstairs is a nice enough place, simple and yet painstakingly current in design and decently spaced out. As we walked in we caught one of the chefs lovingly drizzling swamps of sauce over wings. Good start.
The decor doesn't really matter though, because the food is amazing. The sauce on the hot disco wings is a perfect viscosity, merging good heat with an initial hit of spicy Buffalo familiarity and an aftershock of awesome sweet and sour tang, a great complexity of flavour that is really quite addictive. The wings themselves were fat little bastards, coated in an exemplary craggy seasoned coating that didn't want to go even remotely soggy under all the sauce. Lovers though we are of the simple fried wing, the mix of the coating crunch and the soft meat was great. Sauce plus coating plus meat equals smashing.
The fried chicken was more good times. The thigh and drumstick, which again were brilliantly plump specimens, gave more surface area to the great coating, looking like the best edible rock formation you've ever seen. We went for the guest fry, with the iconic American General Tso glaze: This was a soy heavier version than we've had over in the States, but the soy added a solid savoury base to the accompanying sweetness and touch of spice of the delightfully thick sauce.
The classic mix of flavours blended together well and the amount of sauce draped over the top was just enough, so you could still enjoy the the great seasoned coating and the juiciness of the chicken. We didn't have a bunned item, but they looked off the chain and were informed by our dining buddy that the K-Pop was 'insane'.
The man behind it all, Carl Clarke, has clearly used his experience with his arguably less impressive ventures, such as Disco Bistro, to perfect his formula for great food. And in Chick 'n' Sours he has so done it. It is banging.