Buffalo Chicken Sub at Chooks, Muswell Hill

28 Oct

LOCATION: Chooks, 43 The Broadway, Muswell Hill, N10 3HA [map].

PRICE: £8.25.

BREAD: Soft white sub.

FILLING: Buffalo chicken pieces, cabbage and watercress slaw, mega tousle of watercress on top.

PROS: They were certainly generous with the filling, which they damn well should be for £8.25.

CONS: What do you mean that’s not the actual sandwich in the picture? You dissing my food photography skills or what? Shocking. Okay so I couldn’t take a picture of the sandwich because it’s too dark in Chooks. There is an extraordinary amount of red neon strip lighting though. Mmmmm, brothel chic. I have therefore gifted you with a stunningly accurate representation which I created using the magic of Paint. I’m particularly pleased with the watercress. It wasn’t what I actually ordered, by the way. I actually ordered the ‘chooks philly’ but the waitress cocked it up and brought the wrong thing, and not for the first time during the meal.

The buffalo chicken itself was fine, I suppose. It’s quite hard to balls up buffalo sauce to be honest, and although not the best, it was mediocre rather than downright bad. Underneath it however, lurked a truly insipid ‘cabbage and watercress slaw’ which my mate rather eloquently described as tasting like ‘cabbage in milk’. On top was that magnificent tangle of undressed watercress. No, I’ve no idea either. We began by taking a bite and finished by picking out the bits of strangely watery chicken, leaving bun, cabbage and leaves to think about what they’d had done to them.


Chooks is trying hard to be cool in an identikit, ticking off current trends kind of way; cocktails in jam jars; tin cups and plates a la Spuntino; dark interior like Meatliquor; food on trays with paper like Meatliquor; ‘house rules’ posted on the wall like er, Meatliquor; waitresses walking around looking cocky like, you’ve guessed it, Meatliquor. Table sauce in squeezy plastic chef bottles like Pitt Cue. It’s the restaurant equivalent of a fashion victim.

Also, the food is shit.

SCORE: 1/10 

I was invited to review Chooks

Chooks on Urbanspoon

30 Responses to “Buffalo Chicken Sub at Chooks, Muswell Hill”

  1. Chris Pople (@chrispople) October 28, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    I share your anger. It’s a cynical exercise in bandwagon-jumping, which in itself would be irritating enough were it not also serving awful food. I hope to God it goes the way of Guerilla burgers.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches October 28, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      Walking away from a restaurant feeling genuinely angry is not something i’ve experienced in quite a while. In that sense, they’ve achieved.

  2. katrinaykwong October 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    The minute you said Chooks is owned by people who created Giraffe, I understood completely. Giraffe is the epitome of everything wrong with chain restaurants. It’s approach to appeal to everyone, every cuisine and every fad just appeals to nobody. It’s revolting.

  3. Donald October 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Watery tasteless chicken, watery tasteless chicken, still makes me shudder a little. Also, frozen margaritas were too sweet and they brought me the wrong beer (out of a choice of two).

  4. Jen October 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Oh gosh, what an awful experience!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Amy October 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    That sounds unbelievably grim. I’d say the 1 out of 10 is generous. Massive high five for the use of Paint though!

  6. Beachhutcook October 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I love how you write. Thank goodness someone out there is being honest about food reviews. Fed up with over cautious reviews. Mwah

  7. aoife @ the gannet October 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    live nearby and was initially excited at the prospect of a potentially decent chicken place within walking distance… but then i read the Giraffe connection… then i read the menu and saw the ridiculous prices… il stick to chickenshop, home-made and the rest that do it better thanks! and LOVE the picture…

  8. jamie October 30, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    It’s the same people as Monkey Nuts too, right? Which makes complete sense – it’s exactly the same deal. Overpriced and actually-pretty-boring food draped in vaguely American diner decor, but updated to 2012 diner chic. They’re aping the aesthetics of the best places of this kind in London, but with no understanding of what actually makes them good. Uncanny Valley Dining.

  9. Paolo November 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    “I was invited to review Chooks”

    Ouch. That must hurt.

    And deservedly so. I had what I’d say counts as possibly the most unpleasant meal of my life in Giraffe in Heathrow Airport last year. Good to see the boot going in.

  10. themanwhoconsumedhimself November 3, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Maybe you should get your facts correct before you post on a blog. Chooks is actually independent and nothing to do with Giraffe. Seems to be where all the hate is coming from, so I thought I’d set you all straight. I went the other night and loved it, granted I didn’t have a sub as you did, they are known for their chicken so I had exactly that, the juiciest piece of buffalo chicken, with a side of Mac ‘n’ cheese… it was great, wondrous in fact; if I wanted a sandwich I would have gone to the café down the road. The waitress was lovely we had a right laugh with her, and the atmosphere, unlike Meatliquor was really cool, these guys actually have a taste in music!!! Keep up the good work chooks, and ignore these unintelligent fools they clearly have a bee in there bonnet about something.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches November 3, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      Well ‘nothing to do’ with Giraffe is not quite correct now is it. I had a terrible meal and I said so. That is a perfectly correct fact. Don’t happen to work at Chooks by any chance?

    • Jessica November 8, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      I thought Chooks was started by the son of some one who runs a chain, pretty sure it’s Giraffe, with the aim of being the first of a chain of “Chooks” restaurants.

      I went when they first opened and although my experience was better than that of the reviewer it was distinctly average and I too was infuriated at how it tried to tick all the trendy boxes without having an ounce of originality.

      Have to say I liked the waitresses though.

      • londonreviewofsandwiches November 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

        Yep, it’s owned by the son of the Giraffe owners. I had an e-mail from the PR confirming this.

  11. themanwhoconsumedhimself November 3, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Sorry no such luck just a Muswell Hiller enjoying the fact that finally there’s somewhere different to go at night, I think it’s a really fun/cool place, support local business and all that! And, yes by all means speak your mind its a free country; but running a profesional blog (as im sure you do) I thought your end remark was, unprofessional, unnecessary and a touch childish! But the rest, written by your ‘cheese and biscuits’ friend on urban spoon, was very informative and funny. Looks like you copied there exam and failed.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches November 3, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      Professional? I never said any such thing.

    • Donald November 5, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      Mate, a friendly little suggestion; when accusing people of childishness on the internet. I find that coming across as an ignorant homophonic (one whose dislike of homophones precludes proper appreciation of their differences and correct usages) scribe isn’t the best way to do it.


  12. themanwhoconsumedhimself November 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Clearly!!! I ecpecially liked your piece on Dairylea Lunchables! really hitting your target audience.. Keep up the good work.

  13. hollowlegs November 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    have you ever thought about submitting your opening pic to Central St Martin’s? It’s AWESOME 🙂

    Almost £9 for a sandwich seems pretty mega but on balance I suppose restaurants charge that for burgers. Still, that coleslaw sounds freaking rank.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches November 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      It’s outrageous that restaurants charge that much for burgers too I think. Unless they’re truly beasty. I have considered submitting my pic, yes. Think I’ll do it now you’ve encouraged me.

  14. Don Bross November 7, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Hi, I have been following your blog for quite a while and seen allot of good post. But this one really does take the cake, how long did it take you to write this?

  15. TPT November 21, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Like the honesty and perfectyl captures what so many places are up to. Do they have filament lightbulbs?

    Sounds like the God awful Dach & Sons…

  16. Marie November 24, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    My friends and I went last night and felt exactly the same as you did. How can a good restaurant be dead at 10pm in Muswell Hill? When the famous chippy across the road is still buzzing? Also, I left them a comment on the there social network page and they took it down faster than it took for the chicken to arrive!

    Your review is spot on. All the reviews I have read have been superseded by ones saying how much they ‘love’ Chooks. Somebody might even say they are fake…

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