A rare boy's night out prior to Easter saw Big Matt and I up in Brixton for the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig at the Academy. We last saw this band about 9 years ago when conventional wisdom was that there wasn't many decent places to drink in Brixton let alone eat. The cheap pints and sticky carpet of the Goose is now long gone. These days you can cross the road to spend over 4 quid on some fancy artisan beer at Craft Beer Co and you can wander in to Brixton market for some serious food. Brixton market itself is a really good example of a now trendy venue that still holds on to its roots as a market serving the community. In between the tapas bars and hip burger joints you can also have pick up cheap fish, yams, goat and religious memorabilia. It's quirky but not for the sake of it. So armed with some recommendations from Kate from London Eating Big Matt and I settled on pre gig food and drinks at Chickenliquor.
Chickenliquor is all about the chicken, fried and covered in various sauces or seasoning. Upstairs there is a sit down restaurant but downstairs opens up onto the market and features the bar and several tables with stools. This is paired back dining much like Meat Liquor though it's much brighter, livelier and more inviting in here despite the freezing weather. The staff are really very friendly, polite but obviously enthusiastic about the food and in particular the sours they may behind the bar. We start off with a couple of lagers which are fine but I tempted by the sours. I go initially for a bourbon with a choice of Woodford Reserve or Makers Mark (nice touch) and it's so good go for a classic brandy sour again lovely and at £6 great value.
The food is on a par with the booze. We are told the fried chicken itself isn't ready, disappointing but suggests they don't just send any old food out. Instead they suggest some hot wings, salt and pepper wings and chicken thigh bites. I'd also been recommended the deep fried macaroni cheese. These come after a decent interval suggesting they are cooked to order and first taste confirms this. Lovely moist chicken bound up in tasty seasonings and sauces. It's both moreish and messy. A really fun meal and all the better for the absence of a fried potato. I'm not usually a fan of hot wings but they are big favourites of Big Matt. However these are fantastic, so good we order another portion. We soon warm up around this chicken feast, the deep fried macaroni cheese goes down particularly well. These could be the new onion rings!
As we eat, the bar fills up and a really nice atmosphere permeates around. Like I said this place exudes friendliness and charm. It's a largely hip clientele but in a good way. Young people having a fun night out...with chicken. Our bill is about £60 for 2 but handily we get 25% off by showing our gig tickets, which is a real steal. We had a little look around afterwards and all the little eateries here were busy and buzzy, it's certainly a fun spot. If only I could report the gig was as good as the meal beforehand. Let's just say that BRMC made some pretty ropey Coldplay-ish anthemic music in the 9 years since we last saw them. However the old stuff was good to hear again. If only I had Wishbone back in the day when I was gigging up in Brixton every month, these youngsters will never realise how lucky they are!
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 9
Been here loads, it is our default dining option when we are up in Brixton for a gig. The food and drink are consistently excellent. They also often do you a discount if you show them your gig tickets, I wish they had one in West London