I don’t generally get rotisserie chicken out of pleasure, I order it out of necessity. Every couple of weeks, too tired to think up yet another cooked meal that my three girls can turn their nose up (they have no idea how good they have it) I succumb to their entreaties for a roast chicken. I went for Superpollo once but the soft immature bones put me off. There is a local place that does slightly better than awful rotisserie chicken and I get that and tell myself to get over it.
With the abundance of cheap takeaway chicken around these parts, I wondered what Chicken Shop was planning on doing differently?
Chicken shop looks like a diminutive little place, a small dark entrance, quirky lettering – possibly a venture between a couple of hipsters who had a craving one night and did the whole “wouldn’t it be great if…”
The entrance may be small but the bar flanked galley opens up into a huge cavernous hall of exposed brick walls and columns. With a large open kitchen off to the right. And a fancy fancy rotisserie contraption on full view. It looks shiny. It looks expensive. I glance at the menu – how expensive is this place going to be? It’s my turn to get the bill.
Not very – it turns out. 8.5€ for a half and 16€ for a whole. Sides go from 3€ for the coleslaw to 5€ for the butter lettuce and avocado salad. Special mention goes to the corn on the cob 4€ with the melted butter because it’s a strangely elusive ingredient in Barcelona!?
The chicken is quite good. I would even eat it. I read on their UK site that their birds are free range (more on that later) so that alleviates my provenance concerns a smidgen. The sauce is what makes it happen though. Smokey, hot, easy on the vinegar. You don’t need to douse your chicken in it to make it exciting enough to eat but boy oh boy its like the right shade of lipstick on a good set of lips. Makes all the difference.
I start to wonder why the prices are so reasonable. They are in line with London’s Nando chicken. I get to chatting with the men at the front. Asking if this is their first venture? “Do you know Soho House?” they ask me “this is part of that. We are opening Soho House in the fall across the square there.”
Ah of course! I’ve known Soho House was arriving in the city. And the expense and luxury undertaken for a fast food chicken shop didn’t make sense to me. Neither did the moderate pricing – how were they going to pay for all this with rotisserie chicken. But Soho House. Soho House is an old dog (1995). 17 clubs worldwide and a fair few restaurants.
And there I was – worrying about how they were going to pay for the shiny rotisserie machine…
Chicken Shop / Dirty Burger
Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli 2