Having visited Bletchley Park and absorbed as much information as we could bear, Adomas (formerly “The satanist with a small S”) and I felt a bit peckish. Little did we know that just around the corner from this intellectual powerhouse lay a house of a different ilk…
Finding the House of Chicken might be one of my greatest achievements. This Portuguese restaurant represented everything I love about dining. Situated on the fringes of Bletchley town, HoC is far away from famous monuments, and even further away from dreadful tourists. You’d really have to desire dining here to find it. Thankfully, Adomas and I were determined to feast on prime quality meat.
We started as we meant to go on with a delectable char-grilled chorizo sausage. HoC grilled the whole thing and presented it to us, simply, on a plate. This ticks another box on my ‘Best Restaurant’ list; namely that the food is presented in an unpretentious manner. I hate small non-comestible silly things littered across my plate. I want food as it was intended to be eaten: simply.
Though not presented pretentiously, this was a sausage with which to be reckoned. From the first morsel, we were in culinary nirvana. Crunchy on the outside and quite difficult to cut; the rewards from defeating this sausage were manifold. Waves of explosive flavour fill your every sinew. At £4.50 a piece, I could not recommend this enough. We also feasted on the meat risolles; deep fried concoction of mince, onion, garlic, herbs, egg and breadcrumbs. Again, sterling quality dish, presented simply.
Next we moved onto the main. I opted for the pork ribs. Since leaving Bletchley Park, I had an insatiable urge to eat ribs. HoC satisfied my urges in ways I could only dream of hitherto. Their ribs were succulent and full of flavour. One tends to feel like a Neanderthal when eating ribs but filthy fingers are a small price to pay for such well made ribs. Ogle at them in their glory in the picture below.
Being a man of the world; Adomas went for the chicken wings. He told me they were the greatest he had ever tasted, which is no small feat considering his advanced age. I had the honour of savouring one. I must say they were impressive. Normally I wouldn’t eat such things because of my beard and implacable snobbism, but I am glad I put my shortcomings aside. They were so delicious, I kept looking for more bits of chicken to separate from the bone. They fell with such ease. Each fry you see was hand peeled and cut in the restaurant on the day.
One thing which took me aback in HoC was their attention to detail. This is a family run Portuguese restaurant. They treat their guests like family. Miguel fully stayed with us 10 minutes to explain every aspect of the menu. This was in spite of the heaving masses surrounding us. I was impressed by the sensibility and kindness of the staff as well as their efficiency.
The home-made desserts were the last thing to truly amaze us. Chocolate mousse and Portuguese custard tart. Both clearly made freshly and by hand. Both thoroughly satisfying. They are pictured below.
It is impossible to not enjoy House of Chicken. The prices are so low they will make your head spin. And the quality is so high, you’ll think you’re flying. Trust me, I know.