I have never even set foot in a KFC. I’d always choose steak over chicken when faced with the choice on a menu. I am fully aware that deep fried food is very bad for me. So what is it that keeps me going back to CHICKENliquor (formerly called Wishbone, and from the same team as MEATliquor and MEATmission), in Brixton Market, for more – and more and more (twice in the space of four days this week alone!)?!
Reasonably priced eateries are two-a-penny in Brixton Village and Market, but CHICKENliquor has won my heart for a number of reasons. Here’s my countdown:
#6. Queuing – or lack thereof.
All the other establishments in Brixton Market will have ginormous queues snaking out the doors by 7.30pm every night between Wednesday and Sunday. But CHICKENliquor has a massive upstairs seating area, in addition to the ground floor bar and outdoor tables, so you usually get seated, fed and watered pretty quick.
The blaring rap music may be a tad high in volume, but the graffiti décor in this chicken shop is tongue-in-cheek and funky.
CHICKENliquor is blissfully reasonable in price. £6 for cocktails, £6 for a sizeable portion of chicken, ~£4 for sides. Two drinks per person and enough food to feel totally stuffed came to £25 a head yesterday (including service).
So many options! Choose from Wings, Boneless or Burgers, and then pick your flavour. I always go boneless, and can recommend the Buffalo (the blue cheese dip is divine, though the sauce on the chicken is incredibly vinegar-y) and the Chicken Shop (the “house” flavouring, with BBQ sauce for dipping). Food is served on trays – even if there are 5 of you dining, like we were last night, then they just scale up the tray – one tray per table.
I love the build-a-cocktail concept! Pick your spirit (loads of choice – from vodka to Pisco to brandy to bourbon to Aperol), choose: egg / no egg, and decide: straight up / on the rocks. The CHICKENliquor bartenders then add their signature sours mix of homemade syrup and fresh lemon juice, and the drinks never disappoint.
I have yet to sample the Grog that’s advertised on the menu for £8 – a blend of light, dark and overproof rums and some secret ingredients. There’s a limit of two Grogs per person, so they must be potent!
#1. Deep Fried Mac ‘n’ Cheese.
Need I say more?
OK, let me explain. Deliciously gooey, cheesy macaroni is patted into a cube, breaded and deep fried, and brought to you in a paper bag (3 pieces for £4.50). It is amazing. The best version of mac ‘n’ cheese I’ve sampled in London so far – and so terribly terribly bad for you, especially when combined with fried chicken!!
Also in the photos you can see the Hot Mess side dish – hash browns, cheese sauce and jalapenos. Nice, but nothing on the mac ‘n’ cheese.
Continuing on the theme of “cheap”, if you fancy cocktails before or after your meal, cross the thoroughfare of the Market to Seven bar, where all cocktails cost just £5, and the menu changes regularly to keep it interesting. Last night I drank the Smoked Ale Old Fashioned, aged in Buffalo Trace barrels and infused with wood chip smoke. Served in a skull shaped bottle, the smoke swirled above the liquor giving off a powerful aroma and creating an incredibly smoky beverage.
CHICKENliquor (formerly Wishbone)
Unit 12 Market Row, Brixton Market, SW9 8PR
Reservations: 020 7274 0939