I recently had the pleasure of having a tasty fried chicken lunch at Chicken Shop in Notting Hill Gate on a sunny summer’s day. I mention the weather because a) summer has been lacking recently, so a bit of sun is front page news and b) the lovely aircon in the restaurant provided some very welcome relief during the tasty meal we were about to have!
This small venue offers quick and easy ordering through large tap-screen displays – always welcome these days so you can actually “see” what there is on the menu…and perhaps make your choices based on that. I had a hankering for a chicken-and-rice combo, so opted for the Korean Rice Bowl – two fried chicken tenders covered in a Korean glaze, sat atop some spiced rice with slaw and peppers also in the bowl. My companions opted for the Little Happy Soul Wrap – fried chicken in a tortilla wrap together with pickled onions, sriracha sour cream and Korean glaze – and the Straight Up Burger, a fried chicken fillet in a bun with lettuce, pickles and buttermilk sauce. We then also chose the standard crinkle-cut fries to share, as well as a small plate of plain fried chicken wings, and one of the younger diners in our group couldn’t resist trying out one of the milkshakes (vanilla).
Sitting up on the ground floor level at the front of the restaurant – there’s also some bar seating to the side and booth-style seating downstairs – our food was prepared quickly and we were chowing down in no time. The Korean Rice Bowl absolutely hit the spot for me; it was just the right level of heat (i.e. fairly spicy indeed to make the whole thing very flavoursome, but not so much that I was in pain) to both the chicken and the rice. The chicken tenders were very generously sized, draped over the top of the bowl. The incredibly crunchy coating hides the sumptuously soft chicken inside; I thought the rice bowl worked really well overall with the combo of crunchy chicken, tangy sauce and spicy rice.
The Straight Up Burger also got a big thumbs up; for someone with a more delicate palate that doesn’t tolerate spicy food too well, the chicken fillet and buttermilk sauce combo was a great taste combination, particularly so in the soft bun. And the Little Happy Soul Wrap wrap was another hit, with the friend chicken tender again working very well in the soft tortilla wrap, moistened up with sriracha sour cream and Korean glaze and the pickled onions providing a bit of extra zing. The plain chicken wings we also had were a great way of really tasting Chicken Soup’s delicious fried chicken – tearing off the chicken pieces that practically melted in our mouths.
Obviously chicken is the order of the day here, but you can’t have fried chicken without some excellent sides! I adored the crinkle-cut fries – super crunchy and unbelievably more-ish. We opted for two dips – the mild buttermilk and herb mayo and the interesting Gochujang Mayo (a Korean chilli mayo) – which was a pleasing mix between calm and super lively for our tongues. I’m just disappointed that I didn’t opt for one of the larger fries options, such as the cheesy fries (who doesn’t love cheesy fries?!) or their “Angry Fries”, but that’s obviously on the cards for my next visit.
I’d say this Chicken Shop is very kid friendly too – baby high chairs were available for younger visitors, and although there is no kids menu per se, there are plain chicken nuggets and tenders on the main menu which would work well with the house fries. The younger diner in my group – my daughter, in fact – wolfed down her vanilla milkshake practically before the food arrived which is always a good sign; the drop of milkshake I was allowed to consume confirmed its tastiness to me!
A very big round of applause for the nice server who was “front of house” the day we visited. I’m sad to say I didn’t get his name, but he was very helpful and incredibly smiley and was busily tending to all the customers as well as making sure the restaurant was kept particularly tidy.
The restaurant was pretty busy the lunchtime we went with a mix of local workers clearing popping in for a quick lunch and some solo diners having a more leisurely meal. I overheard some customers discussing menu items that were “really good” so Chicken Shop obviously gets a lot of repeat business.
If I had one gripe I’d say the quite pumping house music was a little bit too loud, but I’m obviously showing my middle-aged-ness by saying that so…as you were.
Overall, Chicken Shop gets a big thumbs up from our group of diners (of assorted ages) who all thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful fried chicken.
And don’t just take our word for it – Chicken Shop was Beyonce’s fried chicken of choice for her recent London post-tour after-party, for which she ordered £2,000 worth of chicken!
About Chicken Shop
The idea behind Chicken Shop came to Carl Clarke and David Wolanski who met at Latitude Festival in 2010, deciding to create the most delicious fried chicken on the planet. And that they do! The restaurant focuses on premium quality fried chicken with mild-blowing flavours; all the chicken they serve arrives fresh – never frozen – and is blanched on site for a unique crunchy coating that works oh-so-well with their delicious hand-made sauces. Chicken Shop is also proud to be Halal, aiming to be inclusive and celebrate the diversity amongst its customers and teams in all that it does.
Chicken Shop was born in 2022 with a new name given by their good friends at Soho House and is now backed by retail legend, Charles Dunstone and team, who launched Five Guys in the UK.
There are now six Chicken Shop restaurants across London, with locations in Baker Street, Camden, Islington, Notting Hill, Soho and Putney.
88 Notting Hill Gate
Note: The Guide to Notting Hill received a complimentary meal during her visit to Chicken Shop. She was not asked to leave a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are her own!