Clutch is one of the latest London locations to capitalise on the growing fried chicken food trend – and they do an outstanding job of it. The menu, naturally, is very chicken-centric from the rotisserie chicken brunch menu to the fried chicken dinner menu. It’s simple, straight forward, and damn delicious.
Food: ★★★★★Service: ★★★★☆ Atmosphere: ★★★☆☆ Value: ★★★★☆ Overall: ★★★★☆
Clutch is a little out of the way by Columbia Road (where the Flower Market is on Sundays) but there are a number of good spots to gather your group. If you are going for dinner, stop by Looking Glass at the intersection of Hackney Road and Columbia Road for some excellent cocktails and a relaxed atmosphere. The place is larger than it looks and the cocktail list is superb.
Alternatively, there are a couple of pubs closer to the restaurant that are welcoming and reasonably priced – the Royal Oak’s food also looks pretty good so you might be tempted for a pre-dinner snack.
Tell me about the chicken!
The fried chicken dinner menu has three main options: half/whole bucket, tenders, and wings. Each option has two unique flavours so you have a decent range. In general, we found the chicken to be tender and moist with a good crispy batter. On the bucket side, I favoured the sweet soy and garlic option over the peppery buttermilk as it had a more potent tangy flavour with some good heat from the sliced red chillies.
For the tenders, the parmesan & lemon won out over the curry leaf & sesame (just barely) as I’m a sucker for parmesan cheese but both were top notch items. Finally, the wings served by the dozen were just spectacular with both the sour & spicy chilli and the honey & sesame being devoured in no time at all. I was particularly impressed with the moisture in the chicken wings given this is the part of the bird that easily gets overcooked as well as the abundance of sauce that left us licking our fingers.
As far as sides, we tried them all and enjoyed each one but particular mention must be made of the truffle aioli and the chicken gravy which were re-ordered after the first round fell woefully short of our appetites (not that the portions were anything but generous). In fact, the gravy is so good that Rob H has been known to use a corn husk to shovel more into his mouth.
How are the drinks?
Apparently Clutch likes to do things by the half dozen as there are 6 cocktails to grace the bottom half of the menu. The gf opted for a Cackling Goose Cosmo which is a well made cosmopolitan with Grey Goose vodka but…well it’s a comso. I went for the Rooster Rumble – in essence a lighter version of a dark & stormy which was well balanced with the sweet ginger beer pairing the deeper heat of the spiced rum. I was quite enjoying it until the gf swapped glasses on me – ah well, a drink is a drink.
The rest of the table sampled the remaining drinks on the menu with high marks. Just in case you were wondering.
Worth the dosh?
The stuff-youself-senseless chicken feast including a very fudgey brownie and a round of drinks came to £30pp including service. That’s not bad and the chicken alone is definitely worth another visit – nothing says “winner winner chicken dinner” than a pile of gnawed bones in my book.
Oh and the bill comes in a little silver egg – yes it came AFTER the chicken!
Find Clutch here
4 Ravenscroft Street, London E2 7QG
020 7098 0808