Dirty Chicken recently invited me down to The Curious Tavern where they are currently running a pop up in their kitchen, serving their signature fried chicken thigh burgers along with other tasty items such as skin on fries and saucy chicken wings. They regularly operate on a Thursday and Friday evening between 5PM and 8PM, a Saturday from 12PM till 8PM and a Sunday from 12PM till 5PM but this can change and they announce the following week’s opening hours via their Instagram and Facebook pages the week before.
Although they are a street food vendor in style and their location could change from time to time, The Curious Tavern makes a great venue in terms of space and location for them to operate from with the Tavern boasting a varied drinks menu and ample seating to accommodate a good number of potential customers for Dirty Chicken. Ordering food is simple just choose your table, scan their QR code to view the menu and place your order. After looking through their offering which consisted of burgers fries, wings, vegetarian options, and cookies we decided to sample something from each section of the menu to get a good understanding of what their food was like. We ordered the Original Dirty burger, Dirty Katsu burger, Spiced hoisin wings, Halloumi bites and cookies. Around 15 minutes later our food arrived in boxes which I thought was a good idea as it keeps the concept casual whilst also enabling you to takeaway any food you don’t finish.
The Original Dirty burger which is their signature chicken thigh in a dirty spice mix, roasted garlic aioli, lettuce, tomato and house pickled red onion. This came served with chicken flavoured chips for £7.50 with the option of adding cheese for an extra 50p. The chicken seasoned fries were surprisingly good, soft and fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside with the chicken seasoning reminding me of roast chicken crisps. The flavour of roast chicken complimented the burger well with a good hint of herbs, garlic and salt all coming through well. The chicken burger itself was huge and was encased in a coating that was crisp and light with a slight hint of salt before a hit of flavour from their spice mix. The juicy and tender chicken inside was enhanced with the topping of a creamy garlic aioli and fresh lettuce and onion added a crispy edge to the dish.
We also tried the Dirty Katsu burger. A chicken burger that is layered with sesame slaw and katsu mayo, finished with a big ladle of katsu gravy for £8, which is again served with chicken seasoned skin on fries. The sweet and creamy katsu sauce that contained a good amount of spice to it paired well with the crisp coating of the chicken. The bun was lightly toasted which helped it to hold together with all of the sauce and coleslaw inside it. The crunch of the slaw complimented the crisp chicken whilst also offering a creamy contrast to the spices of the katsu.
Spicy hoisin wings are crispy chicken wings tossed in their homemade hoisin sauce and are priced at £4.50 for 6, £8 for 12 and £14 for 20 wings. There was a crisp coating with moist chicken inside, which was then smothered in a sticky hoisin sauce and garnished with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and sliced spring onions. The sauce was dark and fragrant with saltiness from the soy with a hint of heat from the chilli and a slight sharpness from the rice wine vinegar. A final hint of sweetness added a good balance to these flavourful and moreish wings. The halloumi bites at £4.50, were 6 breaded pieces of halloumi that were fried and served with a hoisin dip, finely chopped chives and pomegranate seeds. To finish we had 4 of their cookies at £2.95 which are homemade and filled with chocolate, pretzels and marshmallows. These were chewy with a slight gooeyness from the caramelisation of the ingredients and melted marshmallow. I enjoyed these although it would be good to see them offer filled style cookies filled with warm chocolate or caramel to give them an added indulgence.
Overall, I really enjoyed the food served by Dirty Chicken. The quality was excellent as was the flavour and execution of each dish. Their offering provides people with a good contrast to city centre dining and fits well with those who want to grab something to eat in town but don’t fancy dining in a restaurant between shopping in town or having drinks with friends. This meal was complimentary in return for an honest review. I hope that this review has been useful and informative. I always strive to provide a balanced and fair summary of what I have eaten whether it is complimentary or paid for by myself.
Location: Currently – The Curious Tavern, 2A George Street, Nottingham, NG1 3BE.
Opening hours: Thursday 5PM – 8PM, Friday 5PM – 8:30PM, Saturday 12:30PM – 9PM and Sunday 12:30PM – 5:30PM (Although these times are subject to change).