Food review: The Flat Chicken
PUBLISHED: 11:08 09 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:36 20 February 2013
Chris Mowbray finds just the place if you're feeling peckish and looking for a tasty and thrifty meal
Chris Mowbray finds just the place if youre feeling peckish and looking for a tasty and thrifty meal...
The Flat Chicken, newly opened in Guild Street, Stratford, is the brainchild of operations director, Charles Harris, who already runs two successful and award-winning gastro pubs in Warwickshire The Moorings on the canalside at Leamington and The Stag at Offchurch. He has latched on to a culinary trend emerging from London where, apparently, the chicken is now king (and queen) of easy dining.
I have to say that my perception of budget chicken has been tainted by exposure to the fast food variety but, fortunately, The Flat Chicken is in an entirely different league.
We were welcomed by the general manager, Claire Ward, formerly deputy manager at The Moorings. Her enthusiasm for this new project is infectious and her influence is clearly apparent on the contents of the restaurants bar where prices match those in local pubs. In addition to a variety of lagers, decent wines, cider and root beer, there are 19 spirits including gin and vodka from the high quality, low volume Chase English distillery in Herefordshire.
The food menu is not so varied. Basically, main courses are confined to chicken and chips or steak and chips, and the vegetarian options of halloumi (a Cypriot cheese dish made from sheep or goat milk) or Mediterranean vegetable pasta. A cheese burger and a Flat Chicken burger, both with chips are also available.
However, the quality of the free-range chicken and of the 28-day dry aged sirloin steak is extremely high, while the addition of various sauces and side portions give individual distinction to the basic meals.
For example, our plates of a half chicken and chips (9.95) and 200 gram steak and chips (14) were greatly enlivened by side dishes of roasted garlic field mushrooms and green beans with grenolata at 3 each and free sauces from the table cruet. There are also inventive starters known as Peckings at 2 to 4.50 and a small range of desserts at 4 each.
This is not haute cuisine and does not claim to be or charge such prices, but it is certainly good cuisine which can provide a main course for under 10. The lunchtime menu offers specials for the modest sums of 5.50 and 7.50. It is also good cuisine which makes perfect sense in a recession and in a place like Stratford where there is a steady demand for pre-theatre suppers at a price which does not break the already over-stretched bank.
Most of all, it is funky and fun ... so get pecking.
The Flat Chicken, 44 Guild Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 3NY.
01789 415542; www.theflatchicken.com