Published on September 8th, 2015 | by Sophia Longhi0
Pecking Order, Stanmore
Summary: If you are prepared to travel to the end of the Jubilee line, then look forward to great service, good cocktails, and finger lickin' chicken
Living at pretty much the end of the Central Line (the Northest North of the Eastest East), I’ve never had much reason to ever visit Stanmore (the Northest North of the Westest West of the Jubilee). However, when I heard of its newest addition to its delicately blossoming restaurant scene, Pecking Order, I was inclined to get out City Mapper and request my route. The reason? I like chicken restaurants.
My ears prick at the words ‘It’s a chicken restaurant’ and I have been to many that London has to offer. Bird, Chicken Shop, Clockjack… all good. And I don’t rule out Nando’s either (it took a few times to perfect the order, but worth it in the end. Go boneless chicken thighs.) So, I know chicken and Pecking Order was saying all the right things. Corn-fed, free-range, Sussex-farmed, Coca-Cola Smoked Hickory BBQ (what now?) – and it also said ‘cocktails’. Sold!
I made the long trip to Stanmore and walked into a very cool-looking, industrial-chic, white-washed brick-walled (with the logo stencilled on) restaurant, which was quickly filling up with dinner-time trade. In all honesty, it sticks out like a sore thumb in Stanmore (in a good way) and a lot of the other venues were pretty quiet, as you might expect on a Tuesday night. It seemed like it could have been a bit of a ‘if you build it, they will come’ moment for the owners here.
We are welcomed by our waiter, Kyle, who is confident, chatty and friendly, but best of all, knowledgeable about the menu. A couple of cocktails while we look through the menu is recommended and I’m won over by the sound of the margarita-style ‘Down Mexico Way’ (El Jimador silver tequila, Lejay triple sec, fresh lime, pineapple juice, black pepper, served on the rocks) and intrigued by their trademark ‘Pecking Order’ cocktail (Little Bird Gin, St Germain elderflower liqueur, apple juice, lemon grass, lemon juice and sugar syrup). Of course, I knew what I wanted already – those damn Coca-Cola Smoked Hickory BBQ Wings. Kyle is also wise enough to recommend the Camden Lager-Battered Tiger Prawns.
Our cocktails and food arrive and everything looks a picture in trendy blue-rimmed white enamel dishes. The cocktails are very nice indeed (I’d watched them being made with care by the skilled bartender) and the premium spirits are not made worthless by sweet, over-powering flavours; they are well-balanced and well-constructed. I really recommend the ‘Down Mexico Way’ as a tart and refreshing palate cleanser before chowing down on all of the chicken.
And, so… these Coca-Cola Smoked Hickory BBQ wings. Amazing. I hear that they change the glazes on the menu every few weeks, but I really hope they keep the Cola Smoked Hickory as a permanent fixture because it is one of the best glazes I’ve tasted. It’s thick, saucy, sticky, sweet, tangy and plentiful. It really is lovely. And the prawns are excellent, too. Plump and juicy, covered in a light, crispy batter, served with two dipping sauces.
For the main course, we have the Quarter Rotisserie Chicken (quality corn-fed chicken rubbed with a mix of ten herbs and spices, slowly spit-roasted) with the optional addition of the house gremolata (made with truffle, herbs, garlic, parmesan and lemon zest) and the Southern-Style Chicken in a Basket (chicken pieces tenderised in a buttermilk marinade, dusted with seasoned flour and fried) with a side of fried macaroni cheese balls (I know, right?). The portions are generous and the chicken is perfect, with not a hint of dryness. Of the two styles, the rotisserie chicken is the showstopper. Have it with the gremolata; it’s fantastic.
If only I had left enough room for dessert, I would have had the homemade waffles, which looked like the ultimate ending to a great meal, but I feared it would have been the ultimate end of me; I was so full.
With fabulous service and an attractive venue, Pecking Order is a choice place to go for a meal if you live in the area, but it is the food that will have customers flocking from far and wide. Pecking Order do chicken and they do it well, with a lovely cocktail menu to boot. The only thing I would change would be the soundtrack (Rhianna doesn’t quite go with the Americana theme – sorry) and perhaps the addition of a second restaurant closer to Central London (‘pretty please’). But, for now, I will be saving the route to my City Mapper as I will definitely be making the Pecking Order pilgrimage again.
Pecking Order, Buckingham Parade, Stanmore, HA7 4EBShare This Post