There aren’t many things that will lure me across to Bath on a cold, rainy evening – but the promise of fried chicken is apparently one of them.
Absurd Bird is a fast-growing chain of restaurants, with other locations currently being London and Exeter, but I won’t be surprised if that number at least doubles in the next year.
When you first walk into the Bath restaurant, there’s the familiar faded wood/bright lights/quirky mismatched framed pictures on the wall that seems to be the trademark for modern chain restaurants at the moment. That said, it does look quite cool when you walk in, especially the bar that dominates the centre of the restaurant:
The menu is fairly straightforward, and broken into Sharing Stuff, Sides, Salads, Wings and then the chicken mains, ranging from sandwiches & burgers to grilled chicken with gravy (choose from 1/4, 1/2 or a whole chicken). Unsurprisingly, veggie options are limited to a black bean burger, salads and a few sides.
I opted for the Nashville HOT Chicken Sandwich with sweet potato fries and coleslaw salad on the side, with my companion choosing the Absurdly Hot Fried Chicken, with fries and corn on the cob to go on the side. We also ordered 4 wings each to start – mine with buffalo sauce and his with crispy skin and a couple of sauces – what we didn’t realise is how huge they’d be when they arrived.
LOOK at the size of those wings. Just 2, and they near take up the whole of my plate.
As well as being hefty, the actual meat was nice and tender, and plentiful on the bone. I preferred the buffalo wings, as I found the batter on the crispy ones a bit bland (why does no one seem to season their fried chicken batter at the moment??), but the accompanying sauces were great (blue cheese, mango habanero, harissa hot – which was very hot by the way!). I’d just be aware that these aren’t best suited as starters, as we were quite full by the time our mains arrived!
My Nashville HOT Chicken Sandwich waas again HUGE, and looked very appetising indeed, with the salad and harissa mayo oozing out of the sides. I had no idea how to eat it without dislocating my jaw, so after a few failed attempts to bite into it, with a defeated sigh I took to it with a knife and fork.
The sweet potato fries I’d also ordered were nicely crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, and well seasoned. The coleslaw salad portion was really impressive, and I was pleased that they hadn’t gone to town on the mayo – plus there were some nice crisp ribbons of Granny Smith apple in there, a nice bonus!
The Absurdly Hot Fried Chicken sandwich caused a bit more discussion – my dining buddy asked to have it in a bun rather than the stipulated white bread, and I think this may have been a good shout when I saw how much stuff came in the sandwich. However, he didn’t get a chance to eat much, as the sauce was just as absurdly hot as it states on the menu; that compounded with how full we were from our starters made this a challenge he couldn’t finish. The fries and corn on the cob were good though, and got duly polished off.
For drinks, he went for the in-house Absurd Bird beer (standard lager, nothing special but light enough to compliment the food I guess), and I decided to put their cocktail menu to the test – the Absurd Bird Sour sounded good, but I didn’t notice the mention of Absinthe in the description, and I hate Absinthe!
We didn’t have room for dessert, but the peanut butter cheesecake and crack pie sound goooood. Service was friendly and attentive thoughout our visit, and the food didn’t take too long to come out. Bonus points for the quality of the music being played in the background – I always appreciate a top notch ’90s playlist.
Absurd Bird is a good fun time food fix in central Bath, and although it won’t be the best fried chicken you’ve ever tasted, the wings are mega and a good value option on the otherwise mid-range menu. Have them with some of the tastier sides and you’ll not only leave full and happy, but you’ll probably have room for one of their desserts too, unlike us amateurs.
Disclaimer doodle: We received this meal free of charge, but in no way did it impact on our opinion, and we did not have to show any review copy in advance.