You may be forgiven for any initial comparison between The Coop Chicken House and a certain mediocre, Portuguese/African chicken eatery. ‘Yes’ The Coop specialises in chicken dishes and have also used some very clever branding in order to market their Restaurant. However, all similarities end as soon as you walk through the door!
Upon entering The Coop, which roosts on Newcastle’s Collingwood Street, my attention was immediately grabbed by a fragrant smoked wood smell emanating from a distant fire pit. The Diner had a Tennessee chicken house feel to it, with its dark wood cladding, metallic light fixtures, neon signage and some classic American rock playing in the background.
“A perfect venue for hosting some serious chicken eating”
The Coop is not a huge establishment; however, they’ve made good use of their seating space, so you don’t feel crammed in like a Battery Hen (No pun intended) It’s also evident that this chicken nirvana favours quirkiness, with its regimented rows of ceramic hens displaying in the window and toilets with garden trowels as handles and doors displaying ‘Hens’ and ‘Cocks.’
Obviously the crux of The Coop menu is, of course, fresh chicken – lightly marinated in a blend of oil, herbs and spices then spit roasted over a fire pit using Alder wood as fuel which infuses the meat with a rich smokey flavour. The cooked chicken is then drizzled with a little lemon, seasoned with salt, chopped and served.
“And then there’s the Sauce”
There’s a choice of 16 flavoursome sauces available ranging from the mild – Mr Vikkis Sweet Chilli and Coriander Sauce to the apocalyptic, Scoville Scale topping – Chilli Pepper Pete’s Mega Hot Sauce. Each can be served in either a shot glass or a small bottle depending on how adventurous you may or may not be.
My Colleague and I decided on the whole chicken to share with a portion of skin-on fries and the side special which was haloumi, pepper and courgette skewers. As for the sauces, we decided to have one shot from each heat category (Except the Nuclear!)
The main and the sides arrived together promptly, served by a charming and informative Waitress. The whole chicken portion was surprisingly large, even for two people sharing, with a taste that exceeded all expectation. Tender succulent and delicately flavoured with a crisp golden skin, the Alder wood smoke had given the meat a real depth of flavour.
Combined with the flavoursome sauces, generous, tasty side dishes and a tankard of exceptional local ale to wash it all down with, I do decree that this was the best chicken dish I had eaten in a long time.
25 Collingwood Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1JE
Tues-Sat: 12pm to 10.30pm
Sun: 12pm to 6pm
Phone: 0191 261 1542
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