Being born in Malaysia means that a love of fried chicken is built into my DNA, along with a badminton gene and a saying lah gene.
KFC is my fast food poison of choice and I travel in search of good fried chicken in the UK and abroad. So, when Andrew invited me to join him for dinner at new chicken joint Ma’ Plucker, it was a no brainer.
Located in the heart of Soho, it faces stiff competition from surrounding eateries, a fact confirmed when I walked past the insane queue of diners waiting patiently to get into Bao for their Chinese street food.
Ma’ Plucker has a slight fast food vibe to it but you can make reservations and they will deliver locally
I found the menu and choices a little confusing. They do chicken 3 ways – rotisserie style, crispy coated buttermilk fried and hickory spiced slow and low as well as crispy coated halloumi cheese for those of a non avian persuasion.
The confusion comes from asking diners to pair their chicken choices with a base and a sauce. It quickly became clear that the buttermilk fried chicken should be eaten with the waffle and syrup and the low and slow chicken was best eaten in a bun. Perhaps, they should just suggest these combinations as whole dishes. We were also surprised there was no single dish that offered a bit of all 3 types of chicken, something I would want to order if I was dining alone. Happily, with 2 healthy appetites, we were able to order the 3 types of chicken in 3 different dishes
I’m always happy to find root beer on the menu.
The rotisserie chicken was moist and the skin carried some chipotle flavour but I could handled a bit more zing. Happily, the sauces you order with the chicken do carry more zip.
The low and slow chicken was nice but I do find pulled meat hard to distinguish from one another. Perhaps, something like a slice of tomato may have helped to bring some freshness and elevated the bun a bit further.
Then came our favourite chicken of the evening and the main reason for visiting. Buttermilk fried chicken, which has been brined beforehand can seldom go wrong in my experience. The Ma’ Plucker version was yummy with a succulent thigh lifted with a nicely seasoned crunchy exterior. They also offer buttermilk fried wings and breast. In the UK, having sweet waffles and maple syrup to accompany fried chicken may seem alien but I’ve got to love this southern American combo over the years.
We also got a side of the crack and cheese – essentially deep fried mac and cheese. Lovely but just don’t tell your cardiologist!
Ma’ Plucker has only been open 4 months and they’re still finessing the menu. I think some guidance on the appropriate combinations would help and I’d come back for the buttermilk fried chicken
Food: ★★★☆☆ Service: ★★★★☆ Ambiance: ★★★★☆ VFM: ★★★★☆ Overall: ★★★★☆
Price: Posh fast food prices
75 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 9SS