Chicken is a notoriously tricky dish to please diners and probably even less so hardened restaurant reviewers. How do you add a flutter of excitement to a restaurant that specialises in this popular yet delicate poultry dish? Ma’Plucker in Soho would appear to have the answers. In fact 3 very good answers.
They offer a classic rotisserie chicken which is rubbed and roasted with spicy, smoky chipotle. It comes in a flexible quarter, half or whole chicken offering depending on how hungry you are and how large is your party. The other option is slow-cooked pull chicken which is hickory-spiced. The final option is my favourite of the three: with the chicken dipped in buttermilk to increase tenderness and then crispy coated. You can either have it as wings, thigh or breast. You then choose a base followed by a sauce.
For those who don’t like to think too hard or have too many options; they helpfully have some premade options. By far the most popular is buttermilk-dipped chicken and halloumi bun with crisp lettuce and ma’s slaw. What I really appreciated is the care and attention to the cooking process: the chicken is never dry or overcooked. The tenderness of the chicken contrasted invitingly with the crunchiness of the crispy coating and matched with melt-in-your-mouth cheese. The brioche bun is fluffy and tasted freshly made.
Of the sides, I would recommend their addictively named and tasting, crack and cheeze. It is a large crispy ball of mac and cheese; it has a rich creaminess that just demands you ordering more.
The indulgent nature of the food extends to the desserts. I finished off the meal with a delectable chocolate brownie which had extra chocolate sauce on top. Will you tell your GP about your meals at Ma’Plucker? Unlikely. But will you be inviting your friends and work colleagues along for a chicken feast? Definitely.
They also have some funky beverage options including their popular strawberry frozen margaritas. They have also just launched their new Southern Comfort shrubs menu. Shrubs originated in the 15th century from the States and involved mixing a preserved syrup with a spirit and soda. Their peach and ginger shrub is so sippable, it’s a surprise it hasn’t been bottled and sold in local supermarkets already.
The decor has a quirky 60s retro feel which suits the Ma’plucker concept perfectly. It was unsurprising to see tables filling up rapidly at 6 pm on what would have typically been a quiet weekday in any other restaurant.