“Who of my friends likes chicken and is free on Saturday?” read my Facebook status last week. Purposely cryptic, I wanted to dangle the proverbial chicken wing and see who would take a chunky bite. Unsurprisingly a lot of questions followed and after a short time, I had a willing participant.
Jasey and I arrived at KERB – The Bucket List on Saturday night, tummies empty and a severe raging thirst threatening to ruin the chances of us swapping niceties until fulfilled.
Luckily we were ushered straight in, given our chicken buckets, tokens and free chicken cards and let loose. We pushed our way through the crowds to sort the first problem and minutes later we were hydrating with a can of Beavertown’s finest Session IPA.
Only once we had started sipping did we settle in to really check out our surroundings. Situated in West Handyside Canope, next to the swankiest Waitrose I had ever seen on one side, and the industrial exclusivity of Central St Martins on the other side, this two day festival featured eight fried chicken stalls, a couple of bars, a small seating area and some very loud music; not to mention a pen featuring robotic remote control operated chickens.
The idea? To taste a chicken dish from each of the vendors, decide on your favourite and vote on your way out. Easy, right? Yes. Who would have thought there would be so many different variations of fried chicken? Surely, it’s all the same, right? WRONG. Over the course of three hours, we politely queued for each stall and duly tasted every single bit of free chicken that was on offer to us.
We started off so well with Mother Flipper’s Korean Spiced Wings. The next few went downhill, reaching rock bottom with Only Jerkin’s strips of ginger beer battered toughness with sickly lumpy Jerk gravy. After being so impressed by Mother Flipper’s Korean goodness, it was hard to eat, and as I don’t like leaving food, I picked out the tough innards and threw the exterior in the bin. Sorry guys, but you won’t be receiving my token!
Another highlight was the Szechuan miso tenders with fermented green chilli hot sauce from Bill or Beak, but there was only one clear winner for both of us on the night. We stood at the bar, took a big chomp on our Masa fried pieces with guava glaze and habanero mayo and jumped around on the spot, faces squirming as the heat continued to rise, and rise, and rise. I looked over to my left, mouth on fire, face red as a sunburnt Brit in Marbella, to see ‘habonero chili mayonnaise’ plastered all over the boards. Oh. Neither of us had read that bit. Oops. Laughing, we blew furiously and gulped our beer to try and calm down the heat. And although we had our faced blown off by the guys at Petare, they undeniably made the best tasting chicken of them all.
After what felt like more chicken than I had eaten in years, countless beers and a dance to the Maratchi version of Spice up Your Life, we were well and truly battered, so we popped our token into the box and clucked off into the night.
I woke up this morning and it seemed many others also placed their token in Petare’s box and they were crowned KERB Bucket List ’17 Colonels. CONGRATULATIONS GUYS.