My review of Crackbird, South William St, Dublin

So after many conversations, cravings and consternations, I finally made it to CrackBird on a wet Wednesday night. From friends I had heard reviews that ranged from ‘downright middling’ to ‘absolutely amazing’ so I was keen to form my own opinion. We arrived a little after six and in perfect time as there was already a queue forming outside. Because there was only two of us (my boyfriend Ken and I) we were ushered through but warned that there were only sharing tables available at the moment. That suited us, we were hungry and really didn’t care about our proximity to the other diners as long as we were fed. We were seated at a bench facing each other between two girls and another couple; there was plenty of elbow room so no complaints about the seating arrangements. Conveniently, the place mats are the menu and from one look you realise that if you don’t like chicken or are a vegetarian you’re pretty much bang out of luck! The menu is genius in its simplicity; choose from either buttermilk fried of soy garlic chicken, half a bucket (4pieces) or a full bucket (8 pieces). For the more health conscious there are also salads and an option of skewered chicken that is grilled and not fried. Ken and I are obviously lacking the ‘health’ chip (pardon the pun) and ordered a full bucket of buttermilk chicken, 4 chilli crispy chicken tenders and sides of slaw and potato salad, I am rather embarrassed to be writing this down as it really was an awful lot of food and the leftovers were scant. The chicken: extremely tasty and also succulent, not over cooked and the buttermilk marinade really broke down through the skin to tenderise the meat. The coating was crisp and salty but after my second piece I found myself discarding the skin and crispy topping to delve straight into the meat which was truly delicious, chicken can be so bland and tasteless this chicken was a welcome change. The sides were also very good, Ken preferring the creamy potato salad and me the slaw which had a nice kick of mustard to provide a tang to the creaminess. I also ordered a side of the mild jalapeƱo sauce which gave my bites an extra punch, Ken was not a fan. The service was good, I was a little wary when the waitress did not write any of our order down, she just seemed to memorise it, but she was friendly and our order arrived in its entirety. By the time the meal was over the place was heaving with a queue out the door, the atmosphere is fast paced and quite dark, with the lighting being provided by a single light bulb suspended over each dining pair’s head. This ambience does not lend to long lingering dinners and when we were finished it was let’s get the bill and go. Dinner for two with too much food, a glass of white wine and funky homemade lemonade in a kitsch jam jar was €40, which we agreed was very reasonable. One final point, perhaps being haunted by too-much-chicken, amusingly I woke up in a cold sweat last night after having a nightmare where someone was trying to force me to eat more chicken! Analyse that as you will, ironically, I’m making chicken teriyaki for dinner tonight…

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