The Grafton Pub,
20 Prince of Wales Rd,
London NW5 3LG
Jumbo Box - £12.50
Potato salad - £3
The newly gastro Grafton pub in Kentish Town has decided to host pop-up and food-truck stalwarts Lucky Chip in their kitchen in the coming months. Their first venture is Lucky Fried Chicken, which serves the dishes of an upscale chicken shop for prices that are still cheap for a filling dinner.
R and I went for the jumbo box - £12.50 for five large pieces of fried chicken, creamed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw and two rolls - and added a tub of potato salad for £3. This box represents very good value as, even without a side, it would make a satisfying meal for two people.
Having spent almost all of my summers in South Carolina, I am familiar with the upper echelons of fried chicken: herbed and spiced flour that makes the crispy skin pop and plump chicken meat brined into tenderness. Lucky Chip succeeded on all fronts; R was particularly happy that the batter was light rather than the main feature, as it allowed the chicken to be a flavour in itself.
The coleslaw was so more-ish I considered ordering it as a salad all by itself. A light covering of mayonnaise lets the vegetables be the focus along with the slightly peppery dusting of herbs. The potato salad, on the other hand, was almost all sauce, which, to me, does not a good potato salad make (obviously, this is a subjective judgement). It might have been tangy but it overwhelmed the chunks of hard potato and slices of cornichons. The potatoes and gravy were far too salty, which spoiled the contrast between the creamy potatoes and meaty gravy.
Despite the heavy-handed salting and saucing, the meal was one of the best I have eaten recently and should be chalked up as a success. Apparently the Grafton's next culinary adventure (from 13th March) is into gourmet burgers. Considering the standard of Lucky Fried Chicken, it should be well worth checking out.