50% off rotisserie chicken, burgers and drinks just round the corner from home on a Monday night was too much to resist. So we didn't. Keen to avoid the queues we headed straight from work to find some people had skived off already and so we did have to queue. Once we'd been armed with a Ginger Mule and a pint, things didn't seem so bad. We discussed briefly whether to buy one of the doughnuts which were sitting there so patiently before we sat down to keep us going. (We didn't.) An overestimate of how long the wait would be (always a clever trick) from the staff meant happy faces when we were seated before we'd even finished our drinks.
Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger already exist individually in London, but have now merged to become one restaurant with two menus which can be mixed and matched (it's even more overwhelming than a pick and mix stand) under one roof. To not confuse matters they've left the name as a rather convoluted 'Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger'. No danger of people being unsure of what they're getting. I do think abbreviating it to Dirty Shop would have perhaps attracted some new customers, but hey ho.
It being half price and all, we did the wise thing and over ordered. Half a chicken, two fries, one coleslaw, one cheeseburger, a bit of greenery and a vanilla milkshake for B. Super friendly and amazingly efficient service (given the amount of people in the restaurant, waiting for takeaways, and winding in a long queue out the door and down Mile End road). Enamelware (which I am beginning to grow a little tired of but I'll put up with for a bit longer), piled high with food soon arrived. The chicken is the perfect rotisserie chicken, juicy flesh, delicious skin which is dark and smoky; the fries are crisp and a super fun shape, served with a little bowl of aioli which was a fabulous surprise; the butter lettuce was hiding pieces of ripe avocado and the whole thing was smothered in a mustard dressing which I intend to recreate this week; the coleslaw was crunchy and creamy and everything coleslaw should be, which is everything that it's not when you're fed it at school lunches. I've been successfully converted back to coleslaw. B wasn't keen on giving up bits of his burger, but he allowed me one. I think that attests more than my words can for how much he was enjoying it.
Sipping milkshakes out of metal tumblers with fairy lights draped over the ceiling, huge industrial light shades, chipwood tables, pots full of cutlery, enamleware (there was a lot of it, so it deserves a second mention), big barn doors opening on to the street, the menu painted directly on to a distressed brick wall, means the whole place feels like a permanent pop-up. In very sophisticated, very cleverly designed, very intentional way. The perfect local fodder and atmosphere. I'm sure I'll be back.