It’s an extremely entrepreneurial decision to open a chicken shop close to Camden Tube Station given the multitude of clubs and music venues in the area. There is little risk of failure given that this is the team behind great restaurants like Boondocks, Stax and Butterscotch. Do check out our review of Boondocks to hear about the creative genius behind the Feed Your Soul family that is Bea Vo. She has taken her Virginian ingenuity to create some delectable American-inspired offerings throughout London.
Her latest, The Famous Flames is all about tasty wings and flame-grilled burgers in a relaxed, informal environment. The seating is casual and just as many people pop in to buy takeaways as diners sitting down to enjoy their meal. In fact, such is the popularity of apps like Ubereats nowadays, I had to wait quite a while for my food even though there was only 1 other couple in the eatery; simply because they had already taken plenty of orders online for takeaways. The decor reflects Bea’s love of music including hip guitars hung on the walls and a chandelier made using drum kits.
Despite not being a chicken wings fan, I would strongly recommend trying General Tso’s wings. The skin was invitingly crunchy whilst the wings were meaty and outrageously flavoursome, thanks to the mighty doses of soy, sesame, garlic and red chilli. I started off trying to use a knife and fork but pretty soon realised this was going to be fingers, roll your sleeves up job. Despite having 3 chillis as the heat guide, it wasn’t particularly mouth-burning.
I was slightly bemused by the differentiation between burgers and sandwiches given that they use the same buns for both. I tried a very well-portioned and meaty buffalo chicken sandwich, which came with lettuce, tomato and blue cheese sauce. I used to avoid ordering chicken dishes at restaurant reviews because they never tend to escape the stereotype of being boring dishes. However, now and again there are exceptions and this was very much the case at The Famous Flames.
To neutralise all the indulgent fried food I ate, I did order a delicious apple coleslaw which was made more exciting with the addition of poppy seeds, which gave it more of a nutty, crunchy texture.
You do have to wonder what next for the Bea Vo empire, as she goes from strength to strength.