Location: London, UK – Bird have 3 restaurants in total: Islington, Camden & Canary Wharf
Tried and tested: Islington and Camden
Food: gluten free fried chicken and chips
Gluten free status: gluten free friendly / suitable for Coeliacs / excellent knowledge of gluten and cross-contamination
Price: a bit expensive for fried chicken (but it’s good quality)
Home deliveries: yes
Bonus: the chicken is free range
When was the last time you had a fried chicken and chips!? You may be familiar with this little gluten free gem if you’re a Londoner as they’ve been around for some time already. But for anyone else reading this who has yet to hear of or try this wonderful mini chain, it’s the place to be if you miss fried chicken! Until Bird came along a few years ago, gluten free fried chicken was virtually unheard of – and still is really! – but thanks to Bird, us gluten free people have finally been let into the world of fried chicken and chips once more!
The reason for this post – as I already wrote one 3 years ago – is that there’s been a few changes since its beginnings in Shoreditch. And that old review is just not accurate anymore!
Not only did they open more restaurants since, but the menu has also changed. My beloved Korean gochujang glaze (unquestionably the best sauce Bird has to offer and that I used to constantly praise) is sadly no longer gluten free. Bird, if you’re reading this, please please please make it gluten free again (but if not it’s ok I still love you)!!?
What can we have from Bird? Well, most of the menu is off limits really. Basically it’s all about fried chicken and chips for us (but who cares, I’m just glad it even exists!). There’s a choice of drumstick pops, wings, small or large skillet and boneless tenders. These come with a choice of sauce or glaze; note that these aren’t all gluten free so make sure you ask which ones are safe first. I’ve tried quite a few of them and some are a bit disappointing to be honest, but I highly recommend the ‘katsu curry’ and ‘coconut jerk’.
It has to be said, it’s a bit expensive for what it is. A portion of their deliciously juicy fried chicken and chips sets you back at least £10 per person, but at least you’re getting excellent quality chicken that is free range as an added bonus. It’s far from the £2 or £3 ‘normal’ people are used to paying, but it’s also much better than the millions of cheap chicken and chips take aways out there so I would recommend Bird to everyone, whether gluten free or not. My boyfriend (who isn’t coeliac) is a big fan too. I know many ‘normal’ people who eat at Bird and don’t even realise the chicken is gluten free!
Is Bird safe for Coeliacs?
Yes! The batter for the chicken is gluten free and this is for everyone whether gluten free or not. No gluten goes into the fryers and it’s all prepared in a separate area away from any gluten containing ingredients.
The fries are also gluten free as well as some other sides.
…Be careful with the Camden branch. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend this one. I only went once and was told that due to limited space, their fries are NOT gluten free at this location, i.e. fried in a gluten contaminated fryer.
If you have the choice, I’d say Islington all the way!
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