Thursday, September 07, 2017

Restaurant review: MA’ PLUCKER (Soho)

I went to Ma’ Plucker this week to catch up with two girlfriends. To that end, it was a decent venue to choose for a Monday night: not busy, and we picked a spot at the back, where there was enough space around us for us to put our bags (rather than let them get dirty on the floor, which is what would happen at somewhere like Barrafina).

The way that food is ordered under the ‘3 way chicken’ system is that you choose your chicken (rotisserie chipotle, crispy coated buttermilk, pulled slow and low or cheese flan), you choose a base (salad, bun or maple waffle) and finally a side (MP chicken skin gravy, chipotle chilli sauce, Kansas BBQ, herb dressing or maple chilli glaze), and then it’s all cooked and bought out for you.

Because I don’t like mixing sweet and savoury things, and I never order salad when I dine out as I think it’s a waste of money (you can literally buy a bag of cabbages and apply some dressing to it from Tesco for like £2), I had the house bun, with chicken breast. This was how it looked:
The chicken was arid AF

As you can see, the sauce came in a glass jar, which is one of the most unscrupulous ploys I’ve ever encountered in my extensive experience of dining in London. Because the majority of the sauce stuck to the bottom of the jar, you couldn’t actually access a good third of the sauce you’d paid for (unless you spooned it out using chips). Thus, the item you actually wished to coat with the sauce – the poultry – was left condiment-less.

And when the chicken was as bland and tasteless as that being served at Ma’ Plucker, trust me, you’ll be wanting all the sauce you can get. Furthermore, the bun was way too big and tasted horribly stale (much like The Office US, they’ve gone for quality rather than quantity).

Truth be told, for most of my time dining at Ma’ Plucker, I was left pining for the unpretentious, what-you-see-is-what-you-get manner of getting sauces at McDonald’s. There, you just help yourself to as much sauce as you wish from a dispenser into a small paper cup, where everything in the cup can be reached, unlike the nefarious methods employed at Ma’ Plucker to con punters into parting with their money.

We had quite a bullying waitress who kept pestering me and my friends to order, when at the start, we hadn’t had time to look at the menu (it was a reunion; we hadn’t seen each other for half a year so had a lot to catch up on!). As a result, we were somewhat railroaded into ordering drinks just to satisfy her, rather than because we actually wanted drinks. Again, Ma’ Plucker trousering away our hard-earned money through devious tactics.

Ma’ Plucker’s website boasts ‘the best fried chicken in London!’, which is quite a claim when it has Bird, a legitimately fantastic venue (and one of the few places this acerbic food critic has given an A-grade to) to compete with. Having been there, those words are an egregious case of false advertising. They’re closer to being the worst fried chicken in London, than the best.

Grade: E


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