It seems almost perverse to tell you about a pop-up that popped up for three days and has no plans to pop back (for a while), but if you’re a fan of properly fried chicken, or tacos, or tacos with fried chicken in them, you may be interested.
Dante Fried Chicken’s normal home is the Ride Or Fry food truck on the wide, empty streets of Silverlake, LA, but for three days only the street food hero landed on east London art space Protein – in a dead end street cordoned off at every approachable angle by police policing the EDL march – to serve up deep fried delicacies to a few lucky hundred.
The menu doesn’t really do it justice. What he means by ‘sock-it-to-me fried chicken taco’ is actually a sesame-specked crunchysoft platter of insanely moreish chicken breast cocooned in the crumbliest, craggiest baked oil crumble I’ve ever seen, covered in a toasted almond milk slaw and peppered with small nuggets of soft plantain. A ridiculously divine creation and at £3 a dangerous invention indeed. From now on, all fried chicken shall be judged on a sliding scale from one to ten, where KFC anchors the left and DFC the right.
Like any self-respecting, massively-hyped food event, this one sold out within an hour or two daily, and we turned up as things were grinding to a halt and the batches of food (prepared upstairs in the kind of kitchen you normally only see in band rehearsal rooms) were getting increasingly sporadic. The Protein / DFC team made up for this by handing out free beers and samples of whatever tacos were available. We tried them all numerous times and we were damned if we could pick a favourite.
Ye gods of slow cooking that brisket was immense. Smoked for half a day then soft simmered in blueberry BBQ sauce and Guinness, it rolled with just enough stouty punch and smothered itself over the crispy fresh slaw like black gold. But then there was the deep fried bacon – uh – I’m going to start eating my keyboard if I think back to it too much. Even the tofu nuggets stepped up to the challenge as well as tofu can. The corn tortillas were the best I’ve had outside California too – toasted on a hot plate to perfection regardless of which creation they were destined for.
Buen Provecho’s tacos are hard to beat, and DFC’s are somewhat removed from the standard formula, but damn they showed London what life could be like if we embraced the street food phenomenon fully.
This was Dante Fried Chicken’s first visit in two years. Keep an eye on his site for further movements.