CLUCK YEAH, Coqfighter has opened its first proper restaurant in Soho and on Beak Street no less. The fried chicken joint, founded by Aussies Troy Sawyer, Deacon Rose & Tristan Clough, who struggled to find the outstanding fried chicken they’d enjoyed in Melbourne here in London, has got outposts in both Boxpark Shoreditch & Croydon but this is there first proper table-service spot. And since we love fried chicken, we flew on down to check it out.
This Coqfighter has taken over the site where another chicken restaurant Ma’Plucker used to be. Though the layout hasn’t changed, the darker interiors and loud rock ‘n’ roll on the stereo make it feel completely different inside. Chicken comes in the form of tenders, vodka & sesame battered wings with soy glaze, fried chicken bao, a new dish of drumsticks with XO chicken gravy, and the famous Coqfighter burgers.
We massively rate the Original, with fried thigh, iceberg, pickled red onion, sambal mayo and Korean hot sauce. There’s a crisp coating on the chicken with tender, juicy meat inside, and it’s all punched up nicely by the spicy condiments. If you can’t handle so much heat, the Honey Ginger Buffalo burger swaps the spice for a sweeter sauce. All the burgers are big but not overwhelmingly so. They’re not overstuffed with toppings and the chicken remains very much centre stage, meaning you can actually finish the thing without making a right bloody mess or having to unbutton your jeans at the table.
You’ll also have room for some sides. You’ll want to get an order of fries, if only to dip into the array of excellent sauces, but definitely don’t skip the cheesy corn. It’s the Coqfighter take on a classic Korean accompaniment for chicken, it’s described on the menu as ‘mac & cheese but with corn’, and it’s a revelation.
Coqfighter already did some of the best fried chicken buns in town, but throw in some proper service and a Szechuan negroni and you’ve got a cluckin’ good time.
75 Beak Street, London, W1F 9SS