On our visit to Coop, we were kindly informed by the waiter that the establishment isn’t trying to copy another chicken eatery – one that shall not be named. (Yet I can’t help but think that it’s a mistake to draw attention to this other chicken restaurant as soon as a diner takes to their seat…)
Inside, the setting has an industrial loft feel to it, with dark wood, metallic light fixtures and exposed bricks, complete with ceramic hens in the window. It’s a contemporary and slick backdrop and is in keeping with its upmarket neighbours along the Diamond Strip.
Our table was nestled in the back dining room, which can be hired for private functions. The ‘flame pit’ was in full view from our table, wafting chickeny-goodness into the dining space.
At Coop, it’s all about sharing – so regardless of what you and your accompanying diner order, it will all be dished out together in the middle of the table for you to both tuck in to.
It’s a simple premise – you choose either a quarter, half or whole spit-roasted chicken. (There’s also a veggie option, I should add.) You then pick your sides – skin-on fries, homemade slaw, corn on the cob, ratatouille or green leaf butter bean salad.
Now here comes Coop Chicken’s selling point – its range of chilli sauces, which come by the shot glass or by the bottle. The shot glass works well if you want to give a specific flavour a tentative try – the sweet chilli sauce, which I had on my visit, gets the thumbs up.
The chicken comes chopped into sections, with its skin on. Ours was succulent but it definitely needs a sauce to inject some flavour into the dish. Notably, the sides are generously sized. You also get a separate bowl for discarding the chicken bones and a handy little wipe.
Overall, I enjoyed my first taste of Coop, but I feel like I’ve ‘been there and done that’ so to speak, so I think a touch of extra variation on the menu might help lure customers like me back again.
For more info about Coop Chicken House see www.coopchicken.co.uk