I get pretty excited about new arrivals in Chinatown; often restaurants are changing their names for whatever reason and not much else changes, but on a wet and windy trudge through Soho I saw a shining yellow beacon; Bigbe Chicken, a specialist Taiwanese fried chicken shop.
I popped in one evening, late, around 9:30pm to see what was up. Obviously still very new, it's a really simple set up; fried chicken, fried squid, sweet potato fries, and soft drinks. That's it. Don't come here looking for a salad.
I asked the nice chap behind the counter lots of questions; they're new, the chef is from Taiwan, and they serve really good fried chicken. The powders are for you to select to have shaken on your chicken. I asked so many questions, in fact, that the chef offered me up some of their off-menu chicken skin, freshly fried, and for the other customers waiting too. He raised his eyebrows - "are you sure?" - surprised that I hoovered it up (I think a lot of Chinese are still surprised by white people enjoying the 'undesirable' bits. They also never notice the Chinese bit of me.)
The man is obviously incredibly talented at the fryer, for that was one tasty chicken-pop. I was talked into a behemoth chicken breast, battered out flat and bigger than my head (£5.50). Once out of the frier, I asked for a mixture of plum powder (sweet and tangy) and chilli (not spicy enough, but a good tingle).
The chicken is well marinated, crisp and juicy. I burnt my tongue and scraped the roof of my mouth scoffing it down. Sweet potato fries, which they very sweetly insisted I have after I'd paid for just the chicken, were great; crisp, salty and with soft insides, and also garnished with flavourings. Next time - curry powder.
Afterwards, I died of salty thirst. It's probably not going to win any health awards, but it was so filthy-good. Shame the sign printer managed to print off all their wall art with 'deep fired chicken'.
I'll be back, undoubtedly.
10 Little Newport St,
London WC2H 7JJ