Finally a place that just bloody get’s it! I did a little research into chicken restaurants as I have a boyfriend who can’t get enough of the stuff and after pondering the thought of yet another Nandos, I wanted to push the boat out just a tad and find somewhere that really specialised in good quality, free range chicken.
Clockjack Oven is a rotiserrie, however they don’t just serve it roasted, they provide other delights, bites, sandwiches, salads etc. When doing my research I tweeted the restaurant and the incredibly kind manager not only organised a birthday sweet treat for the boy (he went to Fortnum & Mason and found chocolate dipped coconut macaroons; his favourite!) but upon arrival greeted me like a long lost friend and we received the royal treatment throughout our visit, I couldn’t have been more grateful.
As we sat down, glasses of water were immediately placed on the table. I love this, it’s what everyone needs and a staple ritual in the US, I always wondered why the UK don’t want their diners hydrated. Further to that two glasses of Prosecco were also placed down, a wonderful surprise to begin the night.
We chose the Crispy Chicken Bites to start with; marinated in buttermilk, coated in seasoned gram flour and lightly fried. Accompanied by the BBQ sauce and the favourite of the night; the Ranch Sauce which was thick, cool and creamy. The bites are a bargain at £4.95 as you get a fair few. The coating has a delicious, peppery taste to it, not too strong, riddled with crispiness on the coating and the meat is so soft and tender you genuinely forget the last time you had chicken so good. The quality is ever present and it left us wanting more.
For the mains they offer the roast chicken in portions of 3 pieces, 4 or a whole chicken. We chose 3 each with sides of caeser salad and fries. A fine choice. The gloriously roasted bird was served in a shallow bowl and the 3 pieces separated nicely. They give you a portion from each part, the leg, wing and breast. The birds are all sitting perkily on their merry go round fire and the smell infusing the restaurant really is wonderful. Not so overwhelming and acutely different to the house on a Sunday before lunch, the cooking made the air sweet with the mild smoky smell and it is evident that the technique has most definitely been perfected. I haven’t tasted chicken like this before…roasted to perfection, the soft meat was delectable and the skin was light, the crisp being dusted with flakes of sea salt was just the most perfect touch. In a word: incredible.
The salad tasted just like the caesar salads in America except the ingredients every bit fresher and more real, the crunch of the romaine was a welcome coldness to the bold warmth of the chicken. The fries were double cooked and beautifully fluffy.
We were so overwhelmed by the arrival of the dessert that we didn’t photograph it, we simply devoured it – but as I mentioned, this was a delicacy pre-arranged by the wonderful manager especially for us.
The service was impeccable and the atmosphere is second to none. I went to Banana Tree in Soho a few weeks back and I felt so wracked with anxiousness because of the bus-stop like queue piling in, the broken record music playing a decibel too loud to attempt enjoying their chewy ‘must have’ curry, (which I sent back) that it was anything but enjoyable. But this, got it just right. The lighting was ever so slightly dimmed, the music was audible of course, but remained in the background, as it should. The design of the restaurant is well thought out, modern and even a bar area for people wanting to enjoy a feast alone.
I love that it is free range, that they know what they are doing and that the flavours of each meal represent all tastes and that they really and truly understand that a beaming smile and attention to detail goes a long, long way. It’s the best dinner I’ve had in ages and I left feeling happy and full. Is there anything better?
You must go, take all your friends and if you think you’ve had chicken….you haven’t, until you’ve had a Clockjack Chicken. KFC and Nandos…you ain’t got nothing on Clockjack.
14 Denman Stret, Soho, London, W1D 7HJ
020 7287 5111