Absurd Bird, as the name suggests, is a restaurant that celebrates all things chicken. It was set up three years ago to create a brand which married the bohemian utopia of style, edge, taste, art, and design. Now with four restaurants in the UK, Absurd Bird merges the comfort food of the American south with the colours and flavours of the London street food movement. When we visited last Wednesday evening, Absurd Bird was bustling, decked with colourful rocking chairs, quirky wall art and lights housed in bird cages. On Wednesday nights exclusively, the patrons are treated to live music from 7pm, all cocktails are priced at just £5 and there is a huge variety of special food deals. We could hear the live music before we’d even entered Guildhall and once inside the music complemented the restaurant’s quirky vibe.
Despite the fun choice of interior, the food and drinks are serious business. The cocktails lie at the heart of what Absurd Bird represents and are all original, eccentric, and meticulously presented. With a host of choice on offer, the two of us opted for their ‘Savvy Sling’ – gin with crushed pomegranate seeds, fresh mint, lemon juice, simple syrup and their house white, and ‘Hen Night’ – mango vodka shaken with mango puree, passion fruit syrup and cream. The cocktails, designed by their expert mixologists certainly lived up to expectations. They were super strong and neither too sweet nor too bitter and are a must have when visiting. Especially during the £5 happy hour every evening between 5-7pm.
As for the mains, the serving sizes were generous. Choosing to sample both the meat and veggie options available, we decided on the classic chicken and waffles with maple syrup and their own Absurd Gravy, and a veggie black bean burger. The service was impeccable and we were attended to by an incredibly friendly waitress, offering plenty of suggestions. The kitchen service was also meticulous with all our food arriving promptly.
The main dishes were a feat within themselves. The veggie burger, one of the largest we’ve both ever seen, was packed full of flavour with all the ingredients well-seasoned without being too overpowering. There are many other veggie options such as the quinoa and mango salad or white bean purée and sweet potato wrap which can be made vegan if required. As for the staple chicken and waffles, the chicken was succulent and the combination of sweet maple syrup with waffles and savoury chicken with the absurd gravy worked perfectly. This inventive use of flavours was mirrored throughout the menu with the use of their own absurd oil, butter and sauces which reflecting the restaurant’s creativity and uniqueness. In addition to their staple chicken dishes, Absurd Bird offers a range of burgers, wraps, sliders, and chicken wings of which you have the choice of many different flavours such as smoked garlic Parmesan and lemon or buffalo chicken.
As for the sides, I could rave about them all day long. For only £3 when eaten with a main, they’re well worth it. Ranging from mac ‘n’ cheese to sweet potato mash topped with grilled marshmallows (a must try) and a corn on the cob with their own sweet chilli infused butter, the choices are endless. Whether you’re looking for something unique or a simple side such as fries, salad, or coleslaw, you’ll be catered for. Our favourite was definitely the mac ‘n’ cheese, being incredibly cheesy and creamy yet surprisingly not too heavy, it almost deserved to be a main on its own.
The desserts were equally to die for. We shared the peanut butter cheesecake between the two of us. It was served with caramel and chocolate sauces and had we not already eaten such an obscene amount of food already we might have been able to finish this dreamy dessert. Though as the saying goes, all clouds have a silver lining and after raving to our housemates on our return, the following evening the four of us splashed out on their Deliveroo service and ordered the cookies and cheesecake again as well as the ‘Dipsy’, the definite star of the show, a sweet sugar-glazed share and tear brioche with three separate dipping sauces (chocolate, salted caramel and cream) to share between us. It was worth every penny and all three desserts received rave reviews!
Absurd Bird boasts excellent prices considering the amount of food you receive, with an additional 20% student discount running Tuesday-Thursday, a huge amount of individual food and drink deals, a fantastic cocktail happy hour, music Wednesday’s and a Deliveroo service for those who prefer to dine in their pyjamas. It’s definitely a win-win situation for days when you feel you deserve a treat (everyday).
– by Emily Stearn