It's safe to say that quarantine has seen the rise of the gourmet takeaways. Week by week London's hottest restaurants have been making the move online to save us from dodgy homecooked dinners, spice up date nights and add some excitement to housebound weekends. One such white knight is 12:51, an Islington powerhouse renowned for their signature fried chicken. Thanks to Around The Cluck, their new collection and local delivery service, you can now get your hands on the award-winning menu of wings and burgers from the comfort of your home. As a KFC lover and a sucker for a good pun, I was eager to try it out for myself.
With James Cochran, a Michelin-trained chef and winner of Great British Menu, at the helm, it's no suprise that this was, by far, one of the best takeaways I've had during lockdown - and that's saying something. Quirky combinations and generous portion sizes go hand in hand to create a truly indulgent meal. The star of the show has got to be the buttermilk chicken wings (£8) with crumbled peanuts, fish caramel sauce, spiced onion jam and coriander mayonnaise. A cracking combo of smoky, sweet and salty all in one; this, my friends, is chicken at its finest.
However, their original buttermilk chicken burger (£10) comes in at a very close second. Jam-packed with flavour and topped with a blue cheese mousse, smoked bacon and their famous scotch bonnet jam, this is certainly no bog-standard bite. In terms of sides, the kitchen has traded in the usual chips and onion ring dishes for radish kimchi (£5) and smacked cucumber (£3.50), making for a refreshing respite from the hefty mains. Not yet fit to burst? A good old sugar-laden sticky toffee pudding (£8) will finish the job nicely.
The DesignMyNight Digest
For those of you looking to upgrade your next takeaway, 12:51's Around The Cluck is for you. Not only will a feast from these guys keep you fed for days, but their incredible flavours and seriously crunchy skins will have you in fried chicken bliss. But they're not just for carnivores. Vegetarians can also get their fix of finger-licking chomps with a Montgomery cheese and cauliflower burger.
Around The Cluck is available for collection and local delivery, or can be enjoyed in-house at 12:51. The restaurant is located on 107 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1QN. For more inspiration, check out our pick of North London's best restaurants here.