The latest chicken restaurant has set foot in London and it’s all a bit absurd. From Jalapeño Mac and Cheese to Hurricane Popcorn and Dipsy Cake – dig into dishes inspired by the Deep South at Absurd Bird. We get behind the scenes with  Mark Hall, Head Of Operations to uncover the absurdness of it all…

Londoners LOVE chicken. What makes Absurd Bird‘s chicken “absurd”? 

‘Absurd’ suggests something a little bit different and this is exactly what our chicken is. We invest in slow farm rearing techniques meaning that we know exactly how the birds are treated, what they are fed (additive and hormone free) and how long they are grown for. Emphasis is on using only slow growing breeds Cotswold White and Cotswold Gold, which are reared for 20% longer than leading organic birds and 50% longer than your average free range variety. The result is a bigger bird! All the chicken then gets the absurd treatment and is smoked on site. The Southern American inspired herbs, sauces and spices makes our absurd chicken unique.

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Burger and cocktails…

What are your must-try dishes and what drinks would they pair well with?

Our wings have to be one of the must-try dishes. They are a full chicken wing, simply HUGE! Served in a variety of ways, there’s something for everyone: crispy buttermilk, smoked, garlic, barbecue or spicy. Beyond the chicken we have some authentic Southern American sides that should be tasted as well – the cornbread pudding and sweet potato bake with marshmallows is definitely something you can’t go through life without trying. For mac and cheese fans, we have thought of you too, but ours has a twist with added jalapeños – it’s hot, creamy and perfectly cheesy. All of the menu is best served alongside one of our cocktails – because everything works with Moonshine. 

Tell us about the Absurd Moonshine and Absurd lager? What is the secret to the Moonshine and what can beer-lovers expect? 

Our lager is a Vienna lager – fresh, with light and subtle hops, a residual sweetness and perfectly crisp so that it works with fried chicken. It has been lovingly brewed by our friends at East London’s Signature Brewery. Our moonshine deserves a bit of praise – it’s masterfully created in association with Soul Shakers. We don’t mess around… this is proper stuff. Whoever said that this was a thing of the prohibition? It’s making a comeback – sold most popularly in our hillbilly ice teas.

Where did you get your inspiration? 

The Deep South focuses on family-style sharing plates; a lot of their dishes have become associated with comfort food, since they are hearty and remind people of their childhood or family. In the Deep South, the meals centre around meat and three sides – this is a successful matrix that is fully supported by our cleverly devised menu. The only exception is that our menu has around 15 side dishes to choose from…

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Chicken and waffles with smoked sweet gravy

Absurd Bird has been three years in the making – tell us about your journey from ideas to setting up in London?

We wanted to launch one of the top chicken restaurants in London and we have carefully monitored the chicken trend for the past three years. Burgers have really taken off in the last five years and now it’s time that people’s passion for chicken got to the same level if not beyond…

How important is your relationship with Fosse Meadows Farm?

Critical! We are what we are because of the relationship we have with our chicken. Fosse Meadows Farm, and the quality of their “Happy Birds” is key to the brand.

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The Dipsy Cake

What is the Dipsy Cake

It has to be seen to be believed. Not for the faint hearted, this dessert is made of small balls of brioche baked freshly to order that you share: simply tear, then dip into indulgent sauces – caramel, chocolate and brandy cream. Utterly unique, utterly sensational.

What defines food from the American south for you?

Family orientated, hearty, sweet flavours, spicy flavours all rolled into one.

And… your top three places in London for food?

It’s a hard one, there is so much to choose from in London now. The Wolsley is up there, as a great example of modern Brasserie with all the foods that I might want on one menu. For a great steak, The Cut is sublime. I’m all about good quality meat, there’s no messing around with this place. Finally, I love Dishoom – great vibe, authentic flavours and incredibly consistent.

Absurd Bird | 54 Commercial Street, E1 6LT 

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