Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Crackbird - Addictive Chicken

Crackbird, a temporary restaurant serving fried chicken, opened its door on Crane Lane on February 21st. Until today, I didn't have the opportunity to pay a visit, and I'm sorely disappointed that I waited so long! Crackbird comes from the Joe Macken stable (along with the excellent Jo'Burger in Rathmines,) so I suppose that it was always going to be good, I just didn't realise how good.

My Twitter friends who have visited Crackbird had all proclaimed its excellence, so there was a lot of hype to live up to. Crackbird is offering free food to Twitter users who make advance reservations using the #tweetseats hashtag, but I quite hadn't gotten my head together in time and went along as a regular user. I visited late on Friday lunchtime, at which point the restaurant was quiet, but still turning over. It's located down Crane Lane (just off Dame Street), and its easily found via the collection of potted plants and outdoor benches. Inside, there is a selection of booths & communal tables, with clearly labelled tables for the #tweetseat diners. What stands out is how small the space is, yet the decor makes it comfortable.

The menu is short - offering chicken 4 ways (I went for the buttermilk marinated, skillet fried half chicken €9.95). Alongside the chicken, you can choose a side for €3.75 (Carrot & cranberry salad) and a sauce for €2.00 (chermoulla for me please!). Alcohol is provided in the form of beer and wine (the more beer you buy the cheaper it is) while there is also a selection of artisan soft drinks as well as coffee and tea from local providers 3FE and Wall & Keogh respectively. 

My rhubarb lemonade (€2.50) came served in what can only be described as a jam jar. This immediately took me back to childhood days cutting turf in the bog, where the jam jar was the drinking utensil of choice. Now, it should be said that this wasn't your average small jam jar. This was more like the super economy size, filled to the brim with sweet and tangy lemonade.

Next out was my chicken, along with side and sauce. The ordered half chicken came as 4 pieces of coated, fried chicken served prettily on paper with a sprig of thyme. I took a portion, cracked off a wing and started to eat. And that was that. I was addicted, transported, in love, whatever you want to say. They ain't lying when they call this Addictive Chicken. The coating and skin is light and crispy with a lovely hint of thyme throughout while the flesh remained soft and juicy underneath.

My accompanying salad was moist with a flavour of orange throughout and it acted as a good counterpoint to the fried chicken. The chermoulla was equally good featuring oil richly flavoured with garlic and lemon. I really couldn't decide whether to dip the chicken into the chermoulla and enjoy both or simply keep the chicken to itself!

Crackbird has a projected lifespan of 12 weeks, meaning that it will shut its doors around the middle of May. My generous lunch came to a total of €18.20 (including taking home one piece of chicken which I couldn't eat). Crackbird really has delivered - tasty food that isn't expensive in a casual setting. Here's hoping that Crackbird becomes a more permanent addition. Why, because there are a lot of diners out there who have become addicted to this amazing fried chicken, and I'd hate to see how they'd react when it closes.
Crackbird, 19 Crane Lane, Dublin 2. (@CrackBIRDdublin)

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