By Maggie Majstrova
Cluk. Shoreditch is a brand new pop up in the Hoxton 7 bar on Great Eastern Street. I’d been in Hoxton 7 a few times before and I always wondered why it was so empty – it’s a quirky little bar, they have a pretty good set of cocktails (although only one beer on draught) and it’s in a pretty good location.
Having been invited to visit Cluk this week, I can now see what Hoxton 7 had been missing. Cluk serves up chicken dishes with Latino and Caribbean influences, made fresh every day. The concept is a little Nandos-esque, but with a bit of Shoreditch flair.
We started ourselves off with a couple of cocktails (2 for £10 in happy hour) – the Passion Mojito and the White Russian – and both were pretty special. A small twist on a classic can, in my opinion, go a long way and using soda water in a Mojito is pretty much genius.
For mains, you’re able to choose the dish itself as well as a marinade – the choices being Atomic, Jerk, Nina’s Chicken, Grandad’s BBQ and Lemon and Thyme. We decided on a Chicken Burger with cheese and Nina’s Chicken marinade, with a side of sweet potato fries (just over £12 altogether) and Grilled chicken with Grandad’s BBQ marinade and a side of macaroni and cheese (obviously).
I have to say, my chicken burger was definitely the dish of the day. The chicken is grilled to perfection – still succulent but with a slight char on the outside – the bun is crispy (and not a brioche for once! Yay!) and Nina’s style Jerk marinade is out of this world. Nina (the co-owner of Cluk) has managed to perfectly balance the marinade so that you still get the notes of a standard Jerk sauce, but it’s all in all a bit sweeter and not at all spicy. My sort of marinade!
The grilled chicken had one flaw – not enough BBQ sauce – which was quickly rectified by our friendly waiter, who brought us an extra little pot. The BBQ sauce itself was sticky, scrumptious and definitely homemade. Just the way we like it! I would perhaps say that the portion, even with the side was a little on the small side for some people – plus, you can’t have too much of a good thing, right?
We decided, seeing as the mains and sides were excellent, that we would sample the desserts too. A New York style cheesecake (minus the caramel sauce on our request) and Apple Pie (£4.50 each) both served with ice cream or custard seemed like the ideal choice.
The pastry on the apple pie didn’t quite have enough crunch for my liking, but the cheesecake was absolutely perfect. All in all, a winner.
And they’ve just started delivering – so what are you waiting for?