So…I’m all for second chances.
Last year, we went to Bird in Shoreditch because I wanted to try the chicken. I think I’ve written about my love of chicken so many times that this trip to try Bird’s chicken is completely self-explanatory. I also had my Chicken Bucket List (I will be posting an update to that post in the next few weeks, so please watch this space!) to consider. So off to Bird we went!
And needless to say, I was quite disappointed. If you want to find out how dismal our dining experience was, read about it here. The chicken was dry and overcooked, the service was a lackadaisical and a bit blasé and I said I was never coming back to any Bird branch ever again.
Until we saw a voucher for Bird on TimeOut London for a three-course offering (sides, a chicken burger and a dessert). Alan said there was no harm in trying Bird again, especially at that price (I can’t remember exactly how much that voucher was for but it was something like £15 per person plus drinks). So I reluctantly agreed to purchase the vouchers and off we went.
The two visits couldn’t have been any more different! It was like coming into a different restaurant all together. I mean, same name, same decor, same menu, same venue…BUT totally different dining experiences.
The staff were absolutely friendly, and wanted to talk about their food. I know the word passionate is overused in the food business, but they were. They were actually excited about their food! They were completely happy that we had the vouchers and they explained how we could get the most out of our vouchers. So order the food we did!
We both ordered wings as sides. Alan ordered wings with the honey and ginger sauce. The sauce was on the sweet side but had that lovely ginger hit that stopped the honey from being sickly sweet. It was a lovely sauce for the perfectly cooked wings.
I ordered the buffalo wings. I loved it because it wasn’t blow-your-head-off spicy. I love spicy food but I like it when it’s not so spicy that you can’t taste what you’re eating because it was too hot! It was just the right blend of spicy, tangy and the floral peppery notes. Plus, the accompanying blue cheese sauce was yummyyyyy and was an absolute bonus.
Then we ordered the chicken burgers. There are 6 burgers to choose from the menu. Being the buffalo addict that I was, I ordered the buffalo blue chicken burger. This burger is a battered boneless chicken thigh fillet served on a brioche bun with buffalo sauce and a blue cheese slaw. I don’t think I got a chance to take a photo of Alan’s burger but he ordered a bacon cheese burger.
Then we ordered Bird’s doughnuts for dessert. Alan ordered a doughnut ice cream sandwich which I thought was a dessert big enough to feed a family of four!
I ordered the daily glazed doughnut special – which was, on the day, a mint chocolate glazed donut. I thought it wouldn’t be as formidable as Alan’s desert of choice, but when my dessert arrived, it was bigger than I thought!
It was such a HUGE MEAL and which came to about £20, including drinks and service charge, per person. But it was such a different experience from our first Bird meal. We were looked after, but it wasn’t saccharine-sweet sincerity. It felt very genuine, and they really wanted us to have a really good Bird experience. We didn’t feel smothered and I was quite impressed because they asked us if the food was okay before we took bites, which I thought was nice. It’s never nice talking around a mouthful of food.
When they saw me taking pictures, one member of staff, a cheeky but charming French guy (I wish I’d taken his name), encouraged me to take photos and to tell people about Bird and to write a review on TripAdvisor! I thought was brave because he hadn’t asked me yet whether we had a good time. I think he knew that we ate well and that the food was good. That confidence in their product speaks well.
And to be fair, we like it so much, we went back again for just the wings!