Once upon a time, I was a very picky eater. So picky that my diet consisted of pot noodles, fried chicken and the odd peeled grape. 10 years later, my love for pot noodles has come to an end, but my love for chicken still remains. As for the grapes? My mother has turned wise to my tricks and refuses to listen to my odd requests. Like I said, my love for chicken still burns bright, and with Absurd Bird landing in Soho earlier this year, I’ve had an eagle's eye on it for a while.
Perched at number 25 Peter Street, Absurd Bird is easy peasy to get to. No Google Maps for me, thank you very much. Boasting two floors, a bar and an open kitchen, this venue sure does know how to make the most of space, which is impressive as it doesn't leave it feeling cramped or at best, a tight squeeze. Arriving dead on 7pm, we were swept past the intimate booths of upstairs and down to a super chic basement area. From a first glance you would not expect this little lair to exist below the floorboards. Zinc table tops, canary yellow banquettes, and blue leather seats mould a colourful and retro hangout. Old book spines line the mounted shelves and the darkened corners are spot on for whispered chat and low-key dates.
Food and Drink
Starting off with two ‘slightly on the side’ options, me and my comrade decided to go carb heavy, or go home. Regrets? We have none. Straight out of the kitchen came sweet potato bake with toasted marshmallows £5.80 and the spinach and artichoke dip with fried tortilla chips £6. Although the dip won the battle with its moreish sauce, the potato bake most certainly won the war with its creamy texture and sweet flavour.
As for the main course selection at Absurd Bird; it will make you change your mind a dozen times over. Why? Because all of the choices are so darn good. After making our lovely waitress bounce back and forth (due to our indecisive tummies), we hollered out a portion of the dirty buns £8, that come served in bao buns and packed with fried chicken, spicy mayo and slices of fresh pickle, and one plateful of chicken and waffles £11. Hands down, this was one of the biggest main courses I’ve ever had. It came with smoky gravy and a generous portion of sweet maple syrup; the flavours really bounced off each other and the chicken was perfectly crisp.
Drink wise, everything from Finland vodka creations to Bombay Sapphire mixes roam the pages, but I leapt for a little red rooster £8.50. Made from Finland vodka, raspberry, strawberry, fresh lemon juice, sugar and topped with fizz, it's a real thirst-quencher. Always up for a bloody Mary, my companion made a move for the Moonshine Mary, which is Absurd Bird's version of the cocktail classic. It's made with Moonshine, Soulsauce, tomato juice and celery (alongside a whole lotta love). It’s good to note that Absurd Bird offer a smashing happy hour everyday from 5pm - 7pm. So; if you’re after a bit of comfort food and a few cheap rounds - look nowhere else.
Visiting on a Monday evening, Absurd Bird lacked a crowd, but its warm interiors and accommodating staff ensured a comforting and relaxing atmosphere. If you’re after a bit more of a buzz at Bird you can’t go wrong with visiting on a weekend; rumour has it, it’s always packed. The music selection that drifts through the venue is varied with a bit of everything, (think Marvin Gaye and Lady Gaga) but adds a lift, even when the venue is on the quieter side.
Successful sides, crispy chicken drizzled in maple syrup, and boozy cocktails; Absurd Bird you’re everything I dream of when it comes to casual dining in London. And with that, may I say one last thing? Thank you for being you.