While not much of a fan of fast food, I do like food that is fast and functional.
It helps if it is also hearty and delicious, which makes Leeds’ new-ish restaurant, Bird and Beast, a winner for me.
Bird and Beast serves free range chicken grown at Sykes Farm in the Yorkshire Wolds. This gives the birds a good start flavour-wise and they are then double marinated, traditionally cooked to keep their moisture and finished on the rotisserie over cherry wood chips and charcoal to give the meat a distinctive, smoky flavour.
When we arrived at around 5pm on a Wednesday the restaurant was pretty quiet, but it had filled up a fair bit by the time we left an hour later. For me this would be a perfect post-work haunt. The vibe is relaxed and the food is good value (to get even more bird for your buck there are quite a few special offers flying around a the moment – 50% off voucher here, for example).
I loved the industrial-style décor, the fact you could see the birds rotating behind the counter and if you wanted an even closer look you can sit on the tall stools and eat at the bar.
The menu is really straight forward: you either order a whole, half or quarter chicken then choose as many sides as you have an appetite for. We went for a half between us and added sweet potato wedges, corn on the cob and a salad with mozzarella, peach, pine nuts, red onion and rocket. For drinks, I can recommend the house’s own craft lager.
This is fairly simple food but it is done with finesse. The salad was a bit of a revelation: I would have never thought to put those flavours together but they worked so well. The wedges were thick, a little al dente and not as greasy as their standard potato cousins can be. And the chicken? As good as it looks. It is served cut into chunks, skin still on and thick, crunchy and full of flavour.
I think you’re either a chicken skin eater or hater, having never come across anyone in the middle ground. My husband’s a hater, I think he’s crazy. I love it, even if it may shorten my life a little, and this may have been the best skin I’ve tasted.
When the food first came, we thought we could have ordered more but it turned out that two sides and a salad was just right – and left us room for a delicious dessert.
Does this look like your kind of restaurant?
*our meal was complimentary for review purposes but all content my own and opinions honest