Tooting’s not shy of a chicken shop or two and south London’s affiliation with chicken of the fried variety became the subject of a Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall documentary series (The Fried Chicken Shop, set in Clapham) last year. Fortunately though, for SW Residents, chicken in Tooting has another claim to fame: Soho House group’s Chicken Shop on Tooting Broadway
Chicken Shop gave a warm welcome to a hungry audience in SW17 at the end of November 2013, and we paid it a visit a few weeks after its debut. Tooting’s finest filled the 50-seat restaurant, grabbing stools around the ‘bar’ facing the rotisserie grill, or looking out on to the Broadway. Towards the back of the restaurant there’s a more formal seating arrangement – although ‘formal’ used loosely, the décor is shabby chic – which is where we settled. Chicken Shop takes no reservations, simply show up to be seated. It’s not the sort place people linger for hours either so if you do have to wait, grab a cocktail, it shouldn’t take too long.
The menu is simple: free-range rotisserie chicken (whole, £14; half, £8 or a quarter, £4). If you want to shake things up there are two sauces to choose between, hot and smokey. On the side, choose between four options: crispy crinkle cut fries, creamy coleslaw, crunchy corn on the cob or a token healthy option of butter lettuce and avocado salad (all £4 each). It’s good, hearty fare and (assuming you haven’t ordered the whole chicken for one) you’ll want to finish every last mouthful. Here’s a word of advice though, save room for dessert – namely the apple pie. It was a superb slice, warmed apples cased in near perfect pastry splashed with fresh cream that comes served in a quaint jug.
To drink, choose between ‘house’, ‘decent’ and ‘good’ wine by the glass (or also served in a jug), beers, a few spirits and a selection of soft drinks.
If you like succulent, grilled chicken, go to Chicken Shop Tooting. If you don’t, go for the apple pie alone.
Monday to Friday, 5pm to 10.30pm
Saturday, 12pm to 10.30pm
Sunday, 12pm to 10.30pm
Takeout will be available after 5pm Monday to Friday and from 12pm on weekends.