I want chicken, that’s what I want.
So said C. It’s a well-worn chant. He really likes chicken and can make a mean one himself. It’s one of his very limited repertoire. Small but perfectly formed.
Ok then, why don’t we try Clockjack Oven, I said, I’ve heard good things about it. There’s a few foodbloggers who’ve given it the lurvve.
So we walk from Mayfair and I realise I don’t actually have an appetite. Any regular reader of this blog will know that this HARDLY EVER HAPPENS but, even when utterly without appetite, faced with something delicious I will always find room for it.
Suffice it to say I ate very little here.
We were three minutes late. C has a being late phobia, so was practically hyperventilating by the time we arrived at 7.03. Our table was booked for 7 and his son was joining us. Clearly he might die if we weren’t there right on time.
You first notice the noise. Lots of it. Not from the music but from the shrieking of large groups of people made worse by the hard surfaces of the restaurant. An impression of unorchestrated chaos as you walk in. It looks like a fast food joint. Unfortunately it isn’t.
Given that the main event here is the rotisserie chicken it would have been foolish to have ordered anything else, so we didn’t. We ordered sides of the house salad and chips. You get a choice of sauces and we ordered barbecue. Plus point: chilled tapwater brought to the table, without having to ask for it.
The chicken took 40 minutes to arrive. 40 minutes. They had to do nothing to it other than take it off the spit. Which would have been fine if we could actually hear ourselves talk and have a conversation, but that was not an option open to us.
The beer was slow to get to the table and the chips were cold. We left them. No one said anything. The chicken had skin which was flaccid and pale. This was incredibly average. Not what we were expecting at all from the glowing reviews. The house salad – three balls of herby dumplings, bits of sliced apple that tasted odd, like they’d been in a fridge with something else and some limp bits of romaine lettuce. Unpleasant.
It seemed like the staff were hassled and the kitchen overwhelmed and the restaurant was only two-thirds full, so there was no real reason for the delay in service. They need somebody coordinating the staff.
Noisy tables, slow service, nice waitress.
I really wanted this to be good. We came with nothing other than an expectation of scrumptious rotisserie chicken. We got something rather less than that. And at £20 for two plates of chicken, 2 beers and a house salad? Felt like a rip off.