The Grafton itself is one of those vast expansive pubs that likely seem very lonely during the day when its half empty. Fortunately full with punters the atmosphere was great and it was slightly surreal seeing dozens of sober people calmly tucking into family sized buckets of chicken. Upstairs is a smaller space with beautifully tiled walls and comfy booths while above the bar is the traditional back-lit takeaway menus complete with retro 70s font. As for choices, the only real choice is what size bucket you want your chicken to come in. Alongside your bucket you get some authentic Southern sides: mash slathered with gravy, slaw and hot rolls. Fries are a optional extra. They also have two burger options but these were unfortunately off the menu the night we went.
|Picture says it all|
Three pieces is a good sized portion for one person. The first bite was exceptional, literally bursting with juice, the meat was succulent and tender. I didn't ask if the meat had been brined, and although the volume being sold means its likely they don't, it tastes just as good as if they did. The crust is wonderfully crispy and the spice mix would cause the KFC people to speed up their rumoured cease and desist action if they tasted it. Like the Perfect Trough mentioned in his post for the launch - I like the fact that the food is anonymous. No mention of what breed of chicken they use or long-winded PR sheets all about the history of people eating chicken. There was a gap in the market, and Lucky Chip simply stepped in to fill it.
|Menu - Picture courtesy of BurgerAddict.org|
|Jumbo Box - I'm a bit of a pig|
The only complaint I had was unlike other more notorious fried chicken places, the skin was slightly soggy in patches; most likely due to serving them fresh rather than sitting in a glass box for hours. Either way, that is slightly redundant as the chicken is simply the best tasting chicken I've had. Chicken Cottage this ain't.
The sides get an honourable mention. The gravy was thick and strongly flavoured while the slaw had that zingy freshness to counter the heaviness of the batter. Fries were excellent as always. For £12.50 for 5 chicken pieces and two sides it may seem a bit pricey; double that of the standard chicken shop, however considering this means I can get my fix without having to go to one of those places (sober at least), I'd say its good value. As it's finishing at the end of this week. You be clucking mad not to go (sorry).
How do you rate something that has no real competition? Well for starters I'd say it is at least as good as Spit and Roast's chicken (which tells you something). Secondly for value, enjoyment and quality of the simple product, mid-week I'd prefer to go here again over a traditional sit down meal. Word to the wise though, after the meal we were really thirsty as the meal is quite salty so take some water for journey home.
Service: 5/10 (Upstairs bar was closed and downstairs service was slow and awkward)