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The Holy Birds in Spitalfields: A poultry restaurant fit for the President of the United States
Mar 5th 2017 | Written by Baldwin Ho

The Holy Birds in Spitalfields: A poultry restaurant fit for the President of the United States

You might suspect if President Trump was visiting London, his first port of call might be The Holy Birds instead of Buckingham Palace. We all know his well-known love of chicken and he would feel right at home amongst the psychedelic smattering of orange furnishings that decorate this 60s-inspired hipster poultry joint.

You might assume The Holy Birds is quite garish in style with their multi-coloured retro carpet, but in fact, I found the venue to be sunny and elegant. Their front of house staff are some of the best-dressed you will find in London in designer suits and shirts. Their bar area includes authentic furniture from the 60s, which I do worry for them on busy weekends when the accidental spillage might occur on their vintage displays.

The Holy Birds interior

The menu here is less restrictive than the on-trend chicken-focused restaurants that have opened in recent years. They focus on all forms of poultry here as well as some vegetarian options.

The duck breast carpaccio starter was so thinly sliced, you could see through to the patterns of the plate. It has a subtle gamey taste with a drizzle of olive oil and hazelnuts to give the dish some extra crunch alongside the fresh salad. The shirred hen egg, Beenleigh Blue and spinach was a heartwarming dish that just cries out to be ordered in the winter. Overcooked baked eggs are not uncommon in restaurants, but the version here is runny and soaked invitingly into the cheese and spinach.

The duck breast carpaccio

Pigeon was cooked 2-ways in confit and roast style; tremendous care was used to ensure the meat was tender and not overcooked. It has a more a more complex earthy, woodland taste compared to similar chicken dishes and no doubt this was improved with the use of beetroot, kale and redcurrant. The burger had a plump brioche bun with a well-barbequed chicken patty; although I would recommend taking up the extra 1 cheese option to add further richness to the dish. Sides are of the extra solid variety with crispy, hot hand-cut chips and fresh roasted field mushroom with garlic and parsley.

Confit and roast pigeon and chicken burger

A cocktail or three at The Holy Birds is essential to the experience. It’s been curated by Salvatore Calabrese, the maestro who has worked in the industry for over 50 years and also father to the owners of the restaurant. We tried various faultless classic cocktails like the classy Bellini, the clever Bloody Bull and the silky smooth Golden Cadillac.

Bellini and red bull

baldwin@townfish.com

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