Do not think that this criticism is the result of the fact that I did not have a really terrible meal for a while and that I lack some sort of slate quota. I never want bad meals – nobody does it. Rather the reverse; I spend most of my life trying – with considerable success, given the numbers involved – to avoid them. But no matter how cautious and vigilant, just drop your guard for a second to be in trouble. A bad meal is still there somewhere; they slip on you, form you like jungle cats, get closer and approach you, because you wait for the naive and the unconscious until they strike, and you can only fight helplessly in tearing your soul and your wallet.
The problem with a lot of bad restaurants is that, while not taking much of what ends up on the plate, they often manage to harvest enough money – somehow – to employ people who can write a good menu. And the Red Rooster menu reads well – well enough, clearly, so that one can attend a good dinner, there were no areas of possibilities. An interesting international combination of influences, ceviche, gravlax and fried chicken sitting beside pork, clam and cheeseburger – London saw the food of the 39 South American soul before (more recently and more successful late, lamented Lockhart and Shotgun) but it sounded something really new, reflecting the fascinating background (and worth the detour) of the chef, Marcus Samuelsson. The point is, we thought it was going to be good. Otherwise, why bother?
Concerned about the potential size of the main course of £ 58, we had our look (more on this later), we decided to share a beginning of what we had been led to believe was a classic red rooster: chicken fried and waffles. What was happening was a small piece of papery thigh, topped with chili sauce and pickles, over the maple waffle. The chicken itself was not bad, just boring – watery and flat and desperately needed more spices and condiments. The wafer was cold and chewed, but, on the other hand, it was okay, and chili wished the cockroach sauce to be better qualified as "wet". Pickle was oddly good, but there is that.
Agree, until now so bland. The "famous" Red Rooster Crazy Chicken was not even the best in London East (certainly not with Chick Sours at a short distance by bus) Western hemisphere. So, perhaps, the main course would exchange the place? Well no. No, this really is not the case. For an astronomical £ 58, you get three "bonemarrow" dumplings that tasted a little more than the suet, a strange bed of frozen peas [SEE EDIT BELOW] chopped corn and asparagus, and a piece of two pieces of Beef (very) short ribs, I guess over 400 g or more, including the bones.
We sequestered our pie to the miniature in two and tried it. It was chewy not to have been cooked long enough, but to be honest, I do not mind a piece of bite from a roast of rib. What I bother about is paying £ 58 for a piece of beef so sub-conditioned – literally not a hint of salt – and little propelled that it can not be considered beef; It was a desperately poor cow piece. If you had been presented with this strange pan full of vegan iced and mysterious meat during a dinner, you ate it eagerly, whisper quiet appraisals and quietly decide never to come back, but you are asked to pay £ 58 for this in a The restaurant of the hotel in Shoreditch is crazy. It apparently appears from their signature plate, the name of "Obama ribs" that reflects a link with the former president which it would be better to distance himself.
We noted with some alarm that another of the main courses – a whole fried chicken (£ 55!) – comes to the table adorned with an illuminated artificial fire. Our dinner had been better – much better – this could be enjoyed as a bit of naff theater but guilty, a trick, but not without its charms. However, in the context of our terrible evening, he felt like a distraction technique – that they hoped that people would set up astronomical prices for food awkwardly presented and casual, as long as they were camouflaged by the talent of TGI on Friday. Well, he may have worked in Harlem, but I'm afraid it's London, and, with that kind of shit, we will not put it on. Red Rooster does not deserve this prestigious location on Curtain Road and I hope this vast space will soon be developed. I wonder if Chick's Sours is looking to grow?