Bird, Camden, gig eats, fried chicken & double service charge shenanigans
So off we trot to Camden to see another band we watched at Latitude and thought would be worth watching again. Like King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard the DMA's are from Australia, however unlike the former the DMA's are really very good. They don't have the most engaging of front men but they can play well and play loud and really that's what you want from a Rock'n'Roll band. I really like the Electric ball room as a venue, you get a great view of the band, it is easy to get a drink and it is reassuring you can still see a decent band for under £20. I am less convinced by Camden as a dining venue. As I've said before it has a bit of day/night place. Lots of small eateries and stalls to try during the day but by night pickings are slim. We meet up at the Hawley Arms which is a nice friendly boozer opposite Camden Lock. They have a good selection of beer and though hip the staff and clientele very friendly. I've come fresh from the gym where I swam 30 lengths which is totally unnecessary for a chap of my advanced years. I'm extremely hungry so pleased that our dinner selection for the night "Bird" is only a couple of minutes away.
We spotted Bird on our last visit to Camden where we had an OK meal at Q-Grill. it looked like it offered up similar fayre to the excellent ChickenLiquor which we always go to pre-gig in Brixton. It's a very bright room with lots of low shared tables and few booths. it's one of those places that gives off a fast food plus vibe rather than restaurant proper eg. there is nowhere to hang up your coat. We order beers, craft of course, and look over the menu. Big Matt goes all Californian on us and orders chicken with waffles and a side of hot wings. Tim Dogg goes for their classic Chicken burger. I go for their large chicken skillet (remember 30 lengths) with a hot korean glaze and a side of Korean fries to share. The food arrives pretty quickly which is a key advantage of a place like this which bases the menu around one ingredient. Clientele is a mixture of families out for a meal (it is half term), couples on a cheaper night out and our good selves. Not too many hipsters in here.
Big Matt enjoys his chicken and waffles but personally I find the thought of pouring maple syrup over fried chicken deeply troubling. Tim Dogg, he of the immortal 'Derby County of burgers' line, is satisfied with his burger. My large skillet is certainly big, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks & 4 wings but I'm not that convinced by it, the glaze is good but there is little crunch to the coating. It's nowhere near as good as Korean chicken from Chicken liquor. I do enjoy the spicy Korean fries concoction. Service is a little too vigorous in that plates are snatched away before we are finished (yes I wanted to dip my chips in what was left of the spicy chicken glaze). Big problem though when we come to pay the bill £69 (INCLUDING SERVICE) split 3 ways is a very reasonable price for dinner and a beer. However when we pay by card we are prompted to add more service. NO NO NO that is not on at all, the service was pretty poor anyway why would I pay twice? This is cynical and aimed at rinsing Camden market tourists who don't know better. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth and for that reason mainly I wouldn't return to Bird in a hurry.