The New Chick in Town: Bird and Beast Review
Being the new kid on the block is never easy. Being spat at, punched, called names and having your head flushed down the toilet can be a fairly traumatic experience. Anyway, enough about my first day of high school and onto my review of yet another new restaurant in Leeds city centre.
Tucked on the corner of the newly replenished Central Arcade (just down from the back entrance of House of Fraser), The Bird and Beast opened with a buzz of positive social media comments a few weeks back. Primarily a chicken restaurant, the project came about when the owners felt that the versatile bird was not getting the love and care it deserved from other eateries. The head chef has certainly earned his stripes, having worked for the fantastic Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor restaurant in days gone by.
Despite being a stone’s throw away from a famous chicken chain (not the one with the Colonel, the other one), The Bird and Beast couldn’t be more different. When I first read the company’s blurb about using only free range chickens, reared on posh food at a quality Yorkshire farm, my first thought was ‘so what?’ Then I tasted the chicken, and I can hand on heart say it was the best I’ve ever tasted, anywhere.
The secret goes beyond the source of the meat, as it is double marinated and left for two days, before being cooked on the rotisserie with cherry wood chips and charcoal. Every piece of the half chicken I ordered (8.50), was as tasty as the last, from the breast to the wing – amazing. I know it’s hard to get chips wrong, but their chunky chips were also delicious, especially after I doused them with a combination of hot sauce and mayo.
The only downside to me was the fact that the menu itself is tiny, however this is set to change with a new burger menu on the horizon. For some, £15.40 for chicken, chips and a Diet Coke will be a bit steep, but I cannot stress the taste and quality of the chicken enough. For those watching their figure, other options include some tasty looking salads, although being a bit of a salad dodger myself, I passed on these.
On Sundays, it’s worth mentioning they serve beef and pork, which really does look awesome. Overall, I found The Bird and Beast to be a refreshing change and would certainly go back. Nando’s better watch out, as this joint not only serve much better chicken for a similar cost, but offers the only thing they still get right these days – their range of hot sauces.
Contact The Bird and Beast @Central Arcade, tel: 0113 245 3348