An Easy and Almost Healthy Chicken Lunch at Clockjack Oven, Soho, London:
On reflection, it is obvious that the ‘Rotisserie’ is one of the oldest methods of cooking meat and poultry. Images of cavemen sitting round a camp fire or medieval halls with massive fireplaces complete with rotisserie spit come to mind. Even roasting jacks or clock jacks driven by weights, steam or smoke date back to the 15th century.
This very early method of cooking meat is still used today – and rotisserie chickens can be bought in many supermarket. Or at Clockjack Oven. What differentiated the food that you will eat at Clockjack Oven is the meticulous care taken in sourcing the poultry (from a co-operative of farms around Janze in France, where the grain fed free-range chickens are raised outdoors for a minimum of 81 days). The chickens are marinated in a soft herb brine to help lift the natural flavour, then cooked on a vertical rotisserie.
An invitation to review coincided with meeting Karen from Lavender and Lovage for lunch, so we both went along and I suspect encouraged each other into a little over-indulgence of the best possible kind.
For a start we decided that a whole chicken was necessary. Partly in the interest of photography of course. We ordered coleslaw and fries too and ranch and chilli sauce
We helped ourselves to generous platefuls of salad from the Express Salad Counter, which had a range of traditional salads and interesting variations like this rather pretty bowl of shredded chicken, spinach and butternut squash
The helpful team carved the chicken for us so we didn’t have to hack at the bird at the table
Meanwhile, we ate more salad and decided we needed more fries. They WERE very good – a rightful place on the Time Out list of top places for chips in London. In total we ate three portions of fries
We did eat a lot of healthy salad too…
And drank our way through a 500ml carafe of rose wine.
This is the kind of place that is an easy recommendation for lunch or dinner, alone or with a group of friends. It’s reasonably priced (a whole chicken which realistically should serve three to four people is £19.95, fries are £3.95 and desserts are between £3 and £5). There’s a small, tidy list of alcoholic and soft drinks including craft beers, cider and fresh homemade lemonade. And on Sundays and Mondays you can BYO bottle for no corkage. What makes Clockjack Oven stand out is that the relatively simple food and drink offering is nicely sourced, well cooked and ALMOST healthy. Perhaps not if you eat three portions of the double cooked fries between two. But, they were remarkably good!
14 DENMAN ST,