One of the most challenging things about the food scene in London is the sheer volume. It makes it hard to narrow down where does the best version of something and even harder to justify returning when there are so many other restaurants that offer similar things. This was not the case with The Fox in Shoreditch, I attended a food blogger event here the other week thanks to Nicola of East London Girl and I can guarantee I will be returning as soon as I possibly can as I fell in love with their dishes and their beautiful chicken.
So, a little more about the Fox. It’s a traditional East End corner pub on Paul Street Shoreditch, located just a short walk from either Old Street or Moorgate tube station which has recently undergone extensive renovations in order to celebrate the heritage of its East End charm, The Fox specialises in a broad selection of great beer, London Gin and is complimented by its menu of fried chicken delights served by The Coop residency.
The Coop menu focuses on chicken dishes with a variety of different ways to enjoy it and lovingly created from a secret gluten free recipe which we weren’t allowed to know about… just as well as I would most certainly be trying to recreate their chicken masterpieces at home if I knew how.
There were around 20 food bloggers at this event and we had such a fantastic time, we feasted like kings and the dishes just kept coming. Every time we finished some food, some more miraculously appeared and it all tasted so fantastic. Some plates were more up my street than others but on the whole I enjoyed the whole meal hugely and I think everyone else did too. I loved that everything (bar the waffles and buns) was gluten free as I get a lovely rash across my cheeks when I eat too much gluten (I tend to just pretend it’s really bad blusher because everything I enjoy eating seems to include gluten).
The first treat to reach the table was the chicken scotch egg with an amazing curried mango sauce. This was one of my favourites. The egg was done perfectly and it’s outer shell was so much nicer than any other scotch egg I’ve tasted in a verrrry long time. Could easily have scoffed 5 or so of these but then may not have been able to fit any more in!
along with the scotch egg came a Grilled Courgette, Feta, Mint & Toasted Seeds Salad with Citrus & mint dressing and a Cajun Chicken & Corn Wedge Salad with Blue cheese, bacon bits, ranch dressing & lime , as you have to have something slightly more healthy to counteract the goodies but this still tasted amazing and I do love a bit of feta, it made a delightful side to all of the chicken, as did the grilled corn on the cob (which obviously was wedged in between my teeth for the remainder of the evening).
The winning part of the evening for me was the Chicken & Waffle which was Fried thigh & drumstick, maple syrup, whipped maple butter, chicken salt & bacon bits on a bubble waffle. This was so tasty. I often order chicken and waffles when I go to an eatery that serves it and so I’ve had my fair share of the good, the bad, and the ugly but this exceeded my expectations and the bubble waffle made so much difference to the standard waffle. It was light and fluffy and the maple syrup and bacon bits just added to the fun.
The bubble waffles also featured in other aspects of the menu such as the The Coop Burger which you could choose either fried or grilled chicken and customise with either a bun or waffle and cheddar & bacon bits, we tried both the waffle and bun and I think when I return i’ll be opting for the waffle as I often find that a bun is slightly too filling for me! it was so tasty and looked pretty sexy too!
We also tried a whole range of sides and dishes including Chicken Salt Popcorn, Dill Pickles, Fried Pickles, Zucchini Fries Dusted in Cajun spice, Pulled Chicken Croquettes, potato tots, chicken wings, drumsticks, nuggets and Grilled Livers on Toast. I absolutely LOVED the fried pickles, I’ve only become a fan of pickles in the last year or so but these were so moreish and the batter wasn’t too heavy or soggy so these were fab, as were the croquettes, although I always find that croquettes never appear as great in photographs as they taste. I’m not a big fan of courgette and so the zucchini fries weren’t really my cup of tea but they were chunkier than others I’ve seen before and had the same lovely batter as the fried pickles. The Grilled livers on toast was my least favourite thing I ate during the course of the evening. I’m just not a fan of the texture and have always been a bit dubious of putting liver in my mouth…maybe if I hadn’t known what they were then I would’ve enjoyed them more. But each to their own and some others at the table absolutely adored this!
We were also given a tray with a range of homemade sauces which I tried the majority of but was too scared to try the spicy ones, these were Roast Garlic, Memphis BBQ, Stilton Ranch, Mustard Maple, Curried Mango, The Coop’s Hot Sauce and Burnt Pineapple Ketchup and were all such good additions to the vast amount of food we consumed.
Just when we all thought we were done, the desert was brought out! I wasn’t sure if I could fit this in but as soon as I saw it I knew I had to at least try a mouthful (and then a few more mouthfuls followed.) The pudding was the Banoffee Waffle with Caramelised banana, maple syrup, vanilla ice cream & whipped maple butter. It was the return of the wonderful bubble waffle but this time on a sweet delicious dish. I love a caramelized banana and when it’s teamed with ice cream and waffles it’s a sure winner. I wasn’t too sure about the maple butter as it wasn’t at all melted and I thought it was ice cream and so took a big mouthful which wasn’t too pleasant but had it been melted then it would surely have been incredible.