Chicken so good you'll think you've tasted the other side
Lewisham's pub scene just took things up a notch with the re-opening of the very trendy Dirty South. With craft beers on tap (and in bottles or cans), cocktails available to order and really good fried chicken, a visit here is a good time. It's nice to see them re-open after damage during the London riots put a stop to this iconic venue's trade. See the website for a list of trend-setters who have been there.
To celebrate their re-opening, they gave away 500 chicken burgers in their first week. I was the lucky recipient of one of them. We went on opening night and were greeted at the door and given a ticket to claim our free burgers - we were numbers 95 and 96. They were giving away 100 each night so we only just made it.
The joint was jumping I'm inspired to say by the vague 'speakyeasy' vibe of the decor and lighting. The line up to get drinks and food was long and we joined the back even though we didn't have anywhere to park our keisters, we were just living on hope.
Just as we got to the front of the line they announced that they weren't taking any more food orders. This was to give their kitchen a chance to catch up with the crazy number of chicken breasts they had to be frying up in there.
While to a reasonable mind this was understandable, to my overly-salivating self I was a bit disappointed that I had to wait to order because I was already pretty hungry.
We got drinks anyway (we both tried the white IPA) and I kept my eyes open for when the food orders would start up again. When my spidey sense was tingling telling me that food orders were back on, I went back up to the bar, but it was a bit hard to get served and once again they had to cut off food orders - luckily for me, this time I scraped in just in time.
To the hopeful faces of the people behind me, the poor girl behind the bar had to shake her head and tell them to come back up in a few minutes. After ordering, we set in to wait for our food to come. By the time it did, I was verging on hangry (when you're so hungry it starts to make you angry) and that's why I know the burgers were top quality. I can be difficult to please and I was inclined to find fault with the burger if there was any weakness.
Thankfully, there was no weakness to be found. The burgers are cooked to perfection by the same guys that bring you Other Side Fried burgers in various locations. I didn't know it at the time but the magnificent burger I partook of was the O.S.F, which I'm guessing is their signature burger. It has parmesan, brown butter mayo, garlic and lettuce and, obviously, a nice chunk of southern fried chicken.
This burger was also enjoyed and appreciated but not quite to the same levels of the one that I had. When I close my eyes and concentrate, I can almost taste the delicious brown butter sauce with the delightful savoury hint of parmesan and garlic coming through.
While I think it's safe to say that they were experiencing a few opening night teething problems during my visit, the food was excellent and the staff remained friendly and cheerful in the face of large lines of hungry people. It wasn't a faultless dining experience but I will certainly be back. Lewisham, you've got yourselves a winner here.