Plucky newcomer Ma’ Plucker takes roost in Soho to bring you Southern-style chicken from noon til night.
Ma’ Plucker might only have one ingredient as its specialty but it sure knows how to mix things up so you keep coming back for more. Here, in this small-seater restaurant, you’ll find chicken cooked three ways and served up in any combination you wish.
First, make a choice from three bases that will determine your level of indulgence – there’s a salad, a house bun or some maple waffles. Next, pick a sauce to accompany your dish, the chirpy staff can offer assistance here if you’re unsure about the most complementary flavour combinations. Then comes the most important decision of the day – choose the style in which your chicken is cooked. You can have the chipotle-rubbed rotisserie, the fried crispy-coated buttermilk or the hickory-spiced pulled chicken. Crispy-coated halloumi cheese is also available for vegetarians and if you’re feeling a bit rebellious, you can even opt for the BBQ-braised beef short rib sub.
But chicken is the reason you come here and you might find that the selection process comes together much more easily if you start with your choice of chicken and portion size first, then work your way backwards – it is the star ingredient after all.
The rotisserie chicken is so tender the meat just pulls away from the bone, especially when bathed in fragrant chicken skin gravy. If you’re having a light-ish lunch, a quarter chicken (£6) should be enough, for a more filling dinner, go for the half chicken (£10), or if you’re sharing (or if you’re just that ravenous), have a go at a whole chicken (£18). The sweet maple waffle is the best accompaniment whatever portion you pick.
For extra melt-on-the-tongue tenderness, go for the pulled chicken (from £6) which has been cooked slow and low with plenty of rich, hickory smokiness. Sandwich the meat between a house bun and add some chipotle chilli or Kansas BBQ sauce for even more flavour, or you can layer them up on those warm, golden maple waffles.
The soft and moist buttermilk fried chicken (from £6) can be enjoyed at its simplest with a salad, some herb dressing and a cup of fries – you can’t go wrong with chicken and chips here. Do give the “crack & cheese” (£4) a try too – it’s a twist on arancini, so is essentially a large deep fried ball of breadcrumb-coated mac and cheese. It’s perfectly crunchy on the outside whilst being creamy and cheesy on the inside.
Dessert is rounded off with pie or an ice cream sundae (£6 each). On the pie counter, there’s a choice between apple and cherry – the latter is generous on fruit filling, perfectly sweet and not too sharp. A scoop of vanilla ice cream completes the dish which is served in a mess tin. The sundaes are joyous with the cold stuff provided by the Ice Cream Union. There’s a smooth indulgent popcorn sundae with salted caramel ice cream and a brilliant cornflake and caramel sundae with cornflake-flavoured ice cream – it’s subtle but let it melt on the tongue and the hint of maize will come though.
And if you need to unwind with a few drinks, here’s a chicken shop which will serve up beer, wine and cocktails. Try the boozy ice tea (£6) which has a warm hint of bourbon or even better, the frozen margarita (£7) – the perfect adult slushie.
Ma’ Plucker, 75 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 2SS.