Fancy Funkin Chicken

ffc01441 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, SW9 8LN, UK

020 7733 0108

Instagram @fancyfunkinchicken

http://www.fancyfunkinchicken.com/

This new place, only opening in September, describes itself as a late-night chicken shop, serving a southern American spin on fried chicken, along with a dedicated cocktail menu. It will also host a range of DJs every weekend but this probably means in the evening. On Sunday lunchtime we just enjoyed listening to the background music, which was mostly classic soul.

For old Brixton hands this is, of course, the premises occupied by the much-missed Phoenix Café, a classic ‘greasy spoon’ of long-standing, before it moved further down the street and then vanished. It was always rather poky and, even following a total reconstruction from the foundations up, it’s still on the small side. There are some cosy four seater booths on one side, opposite the bar, but most of the seating is on stools at high bar tables. It’s also a little on the dark side, which I suppose gives it some atmosphere.

I’m not sure what constitutes south American fried chicken and the food on offer is pretty Brixton generic – i.e. much like stuff you can now get at many other places in Brixton. There are the inevitable chicken burgers; crispy fried chicken wings of course, with a choice of sauce varying only in how spicy hot they are; and, somewhat randomly, waffles. If this place is going to succeed it needs to stand out by the quality of the food, rather the uniqueness of what’s on offer. One plus is that the meat comes from ‘free range happy chickens’, although quite how they know the chickens were happy is unclear.

There were three of us and the dedicated vegetarian had the Jackson burger – described on the menu as a ‘veggie patty, roast beetroot, sweet potato, black bean and wild rice with a blend of herbs and spices’ served in a sesame seed bun with cheese, lettuce, onion and mayo. This received a definite thumbs up, marking an improvement on the usual tasteless beanburger. The bun also maintained the structural integrity of the dish

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I had the chicken wings with the middle-ranking sauce, described as “having a little kick”, which was quite hot enough. The wings were oddly small but properly crispy, despite being served smothered in the sauce. I chose the smaller serving size, supposedly six, although there were more.

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The third choice was boneless chicken pieces (chicken nuggets in other words), served deep fried in breadcrumbs with a “secret spice mix” and BBQ sauce. The sauce was given a positive review, with a deep savoury smoky taste, although the chicken itself wasn’t really as interesting as it should have been.

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ffc05For sides we had a portion of fries, a dish of coleslaw and waffles. The fries were fine, if not outstanding; the coleslaw was as we like it; and the waffles were a bit odd, mainly because we were expecting savoury potato waffles, but were served ones made with flour and served with a sweet sauce. The portion size of the sides cannot be described as generous but, in the event, we had plenty to eat.

The service was attentive and appropriate action was taken when there was a delay due to a problem with the waffle machine, i.e. we were given our drinks (passionfruit juice, ginger beer and a coke) for free. We passed on a pudding (a limited choice), as well as cocktails, (a good choice). Altogether, without the drinks, the bill came to £30.50 before adding a tip.There’s been a suggestion that Brixton is becoming a giant food court and this places fits into that model. It’s going to have to work hard to develop its own identity as a food destination, or else it’s going to end up as just another place to have a drink and socialise.

Trinity Arms – Burger Shack

address: The Trinity Arms, 45 Trinity Gardens, Brixton, London, SW9 8DR

telephone: 020 7274 4544

email: trinityarms@youngs.co.uk

website: http://www.trinityarms.co.uk/

The refurbished Trinity Arms reopened in mid-August providing much more space in the bar, a little loss of character and something new upstairs , a Burger Shack. You might well question the need for another burger bar, particularly in Brixton where burger lovers are spoilt for choice, but it seems that this is something Young’s, the Brewery, are rolling out across their chain of pubs. You can still get other food in the bar, but upstairs it’s just the burgers. It seems a bit odd and it will be interesting to see how it works out. The key difference here is perhaps it has more of a restaurant like ambience, rather than the “fast food, eat your burger and get out”, feeling you get at the other places in Brixton.

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Bukowski Grill

Address: Unit 10, Market Row, Brixton Market, SW9 8JX, London
Telephone: 020 7733 4646

email:info@bukowski-grill.co.uk

http://www.bukowski-grill.co.uk/

We are hoping that this will be the last burger bar we review for a while, after about six. Although we do know there are others coming to join the list. This is a return visit, due to pressure from one of group and our previous review is here. Despite the elapse of four years it hasn’t changed its décor, so we won’t spend any time on that. Seats though are for parties of four, unless you book when they put them together for larger numbers. This is the last (or maybe just the latest) of a small chain with other locations being in Shoreditch and Soho. It is in the heart of Market Row, which now has almost 50% restaurants. Lighting is dim and music loudish, even at 7.00pm on a Thursday.

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Dirty burger

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address: 395 Coldharbour Lane,  London,  SW9 8LQ

Tel no: 0203 859 1121

Website: http://www.eatdirtyburger.com/brixton

Mon – Thurs: 12pm – 11pm Friday: 12pm – 12am Saturday: 10am – 12am Sunday: 10am – 10.30pm

The recent burger bar boom in Brixton has not gone unnoticed. Starting off with the staple burger venue Honest Burgers plus Shh!! Burger and Bukowski, we now have the ‘chain’ Dirty Burger joining in on the fun. With locations already all over London, including Whitechapel, Kentish Town and Wimbledon, Brixton seemed to be next on their hit list. Located on Coldharbour Lane in what was the interim Phoenix café, next to Dogstar, this joins a whole host of other new eateries opening on that stretch of road (including the Rum Kitchen, Three Little Birds, and another yet unknown below the newly opened Premiere Inn).

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Shhh Burger Club and Bar

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address: 424 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LF

telephone: 02072748888

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shhh-Burger-Club-Bar/926667227365416#_=_

Up to now, whenever we wanted a burger, there has been only one place to go – Honest Burger (see here) – but as part of our quest to keep pace with all the recent openings in Brixton, we decided to see if this had changed. So we visited Shhh one weekday evening when there was little in the cupboard and we wanted some quality family time. This is a comfortable restaurant with mis-matched, but stylish, chairs in the former Duck Egg Café (see here) site. You can sit outside or inside and there is a bar with high stools at the window for peering at the passing scene. A word of WARNING … watch yourself as you go inside. There is a step where you least expect it and two people in our party tripped, as did the next lot.

The menu is short and has three burgers, two beef and one chicken. There are also a couple of snacks as well as a few side dishes. We over-ordered as usual, covering the complete range of burgers, which means the classic beef (Dry aged, pasture raised Yorkshire chuck, brisket and bone marrow with lettuce, pickled cucumber, chili jam and the rest); the chicken burger (chopped breast, watercress, creamy leek sauce, onions) and the Honey Burger (paprika smoked beef, honey mustard mayo, rocket and goat’s cheese). All the burgers are in a “homemade” bun and come with hand cut, triple cooked chips.
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The three side dishes were chosen mostly for the inclusion of some veg: coleslaw (apple, celeriac, cabbage, raisins) – we couldn’t taste the apple -, baby gem lettuce (with crispy bacon, Stilton, pickles and green goddess dressing) – absolutely delicious and we wished we had ordered more –  and something called “so Corny” which turned out to be two pieces of corn on the cob covered in chipotle cream and some chilli – watch out for the chilli as one member of our party didn’t and although she likes chilli this really put a stop to conversation.

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We liked all the burgers – perhaps the classic more than the others. The fries were ok but slightly sweet and not all were as crispy as we would have liked.

The meal cost £54.00, including two large glasses of wine and the free bottle of tap water. The service was attentive and friendly. We were the only customers for a while and that did give us the opportunity for conversation and a relaxed dining experience. Much as we love Honest Burgers (and their burgers are pretty spectacular) it is now so popular for most of the day that you feel very rushed, understandably as they have so few tables. This restaurant provides a more relaxed and spacious alternative. The food isn’t too fast, even with few competing customers. Maybe the food is not yet up to the standard of Honest Burger but if you do not want to queue and do want relaxation then this is a good place to go.

Honest Burgers

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Unit 12, Brixton Village, London SW9 8PR

www.honestburgers.co.uk

+44 (0)20 7733 7963

Mon: 12.00–16.00

Tues to Sat: 12.00–22.30

Sun: 12.00–22.00

Amazingly its nigh on three years since we reviewed Honest Burgers. We are not great burger eaters but, for a variety of reasons, we paid a couple of visits recently, so it seemed an opportune time to produce another review. A big change is that there are now six branches across London, from Tooting to King’s Cross. So the question is, does this mean they have taken their eye off the ball or will they still offer our previous judgement “… the best burger I have had south of the river”.

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Brixton – Washington DC

address: 901 U St. NW,  WASHINGTON, DC 20009
telephone: 202-560-5045

http://www.brixtondc.com/

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? We decided to see if it was after noting a post on Urban75 (here) that there was a Brixton bar and restaurant in Washington. We were also interested in the ‘gentrification’ issues that the bars in this area had generated, as they seemed similar to those being discussed in Brixton blogs.

The Brixton is a “concept” bar with food. It was opened by a company called Brixton that herald from San Francisco and they make clothes. We believe (the barman told us) that they were originally from South London. But this is not any part of South London that we have been in. The surrounding streets were part of a mainly black community (so that’s the same). In fact Obama chose Ben’s Chili Bowl which is just along the street from the Brixton to emphasise his black credentials and there is a monument to Afro-americans who fought in the War of Independence. The area is now being “gentrified” with new businesses mainly being run by white entrepreneurs – hence the discussion thread on Urban75.

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