If you imagined the puns at this pop-up fried chicken restaurant, roosting for the next few weeks within the welcoming space of The Endurance pub on Berwick St, Soho, halted at the door, think again. "Cluck you", proclaims the legend emblazoned on the back of the waiters' shirts, while a cheeky sign at the till invites patrons to "pay up and cluck off".
But we're here to judge the frying, not the punning. Mother Clucker is the brainchild of a New Orleans-born chef, the deliciously named Brittney Bean, who's aiming to bring southern American comfort food to the mouths of salivating Brits — not exactly a tall order in a world where Brixton's Wishbone an Kentish Town's Chicken Shop are doing a clucking good trade.
The basic offering is the Clucker Combo (above), comprising a drumstick, bitesize nuggets (or 'Cluster Clucks'), a buttermilk biscuit and fries. The latter two were decent, but the chicken itself was a winner, soft beneath the surface and packed with flavour. The birds, sourced from Fosse Meadow, are fried twice, marinated in a sweet tea brine and coated in buttermilk and spices.
Encouraged, we tried a basket of wings, which was less impressive. The menu proclaimed that these were "twice-fried for maximum crunch". They're not lying: biting into the bird wasn't easy, and as we attempted to eat the thick coating began falling off in large, unappetising chunks. A disappointment, given how good the Combo had been. So our advice is to stick with that, or one of the other options, which include (depending on availability) mac & cheese and veg jambalaya.
Mother Clucker is at The Endurance until Sunday 28 April. Lunch 12-4, dinner 6-10. Reservations accepted for lunch only. If you miss 'em, they're set to do the rounds of street food festivals this summer in a kitted out Cluck Truck.