Whyte & Brown, Carnaby Street

The concept hatched in July 2013 and there has been a frenzy of excitement ever since. At Whyte & Brown they offer a menu inspired by free range chicken and eggs and, wow, do they get through a sizeable amount of each… to be precise 5000 eggs and 700 chickens a week! Located at a lovely spacious venue in the charming Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street, it is a popular weekend hang-out.

There are so many poultry possibilities and consequently we feasted on far too much food, eager to try every variety. To start, Crisp Chicken Shards are the ideal naughty nibbles… ultra thin and salty. Croquette balls are exemplary… truly delightful little mouthfuls, filled with shredded chicken, pancetta, lemon béchamel and chives. I could eat them all day. Harissa hot wings are very spicy but had a wonderfully rich flavour in the exotic marinade; served with caramelised orange wedges, coriander, and a minty yoghurt dressing, there is some refuge from the chillified wings.

For mains we followed our waiter’s instruction and tried the W&B Caesar Burger and the Brick Chicken. Neither were as addictively tasty as the starters, but were nonetheless clever chicken-inspired recipes. The burger is made with chicken thigh mince with caramelised onion, parmesan and aromatic seasoning, layered with tomato and presented in a grilled brioche bun. Serious chips are worth ordering on the side, super-skinny handcut and twice cooked for added flavour and extra crispy edges. The mashed potato however was a bit too lumpy for my liking. Brick Chicken is a more traditional dish, the ideal Sunday lunch. Made with the W&B signature seasoning using lemon, thyme, garlic and olive oil. It is crisp skinned and cooked three ways: the marinated breast, the slow-cooked thigh confit, and the 12-hour cooked wing. Served with a generous jug of homemade natural gravy, the meat was tender and juicy though the serving exceeded our eating abilities.

Unable to resist desert, we tried the Brownie and the Eton Mess. The brownie was too dry and uninteresting, the sort of desert that feels like wasted calories. Eton Mess was more of a success, a chaotic pile of fresh berries, broken meringue, lemon posset and, much to my delight, a sprinkling of popping candy on top. This pudding was fun for the palette, texture and flavour-wise.

Long and short refreshing cocktails are available at Whyte & Brown, perfect to accompany a long lazy Sunday lunch. We tried the golden ale based Peachalada and the popular Gin Spring Collins – both were light and well balanced, not interfering with the flavours from the food.

Whyte & Brown does exactly what it sets out to do, offering high quality, organic chicken and egg-inspired dishes with a pinch of creativity. The staff have a genuine enthusiasm for the concept and ensure every diner has a good time. Listen out for the seamless soundtrack, created by the brilliantly talented bespoke music consultants, Music Concierge.

With the recent restaurant trends obsessing over burger and steaks, it’s good to see some passionate poultry producers putting chicken and eggs in the spotlight.

More information and book here: whyteandbrown.com

Hot on the Highstreet Week 98

As it is Easter I thought I would write about one of my favourite chocolate shops on the highstreet.

Rococo was founded in March 1983 by Chantal Coady. With a deep passion for chocolate, she believed there was a need to communicate her enthusiasm for delicious, luxury chocolates and opened a shop on the King’s Road in Chelsea. Born in Tehran, her family settled in South London, and her exotic background comes through in the unique chocolate flavours she creates, including Basil and Persian Lime and Cardamom. Chantal’s inventiveness and taste for the theatrical are evident in the distinctive packaging of her products.

Rococo is luxury chocolate with a firm ethical foundation and uses fairly traded cocoa produced on Chantal’s own farm in Grenada. The farm is a joint venture between Rococo and the Grenada Chocolate Company (GCC) and every Rococo organic bar now includes its Grenada chocolate in the recipe.

For my birthday I received the Superior Seagull Eggs, luxurious salted caramel in delicious chocolate, topped with a sugar shell. Twelve eggs are presented beautifully in a box, perfect for sharing amongst the whole family. Their packaging is quaint and cute with fountain pen drawn illustrations on the pretty blue packaging. A box of Seagull eggs costs £7.50, but are so rich and exquisite they will last you a while, I relished mine and managed to make them last a month!

Rococo has four shops to visit: Motcomb Street, Marylebone High Street, King’s Road and Chester. Each shop is beautiful, with wonderful displays and elaborate presentations of chocolate goodies, each is an emporium of sugary delights.

Or buy online here.