When I first heard about The Bucket List from a friend I wondered if anything more perfect had ever existed! 8 traders all with a different take on fried chicken and a competition to see who was the best! If you know me at all you will know that my love for fried chicken almost rivals my love for Mac & Cheese. I like nothing more than some succulent chicken and some crispy seasoned batter.
Seven of us booked our tickets and headed over to the venue in Kings Cross to begin our feasting. On arrival we were handed a bucket with a pink token for a drink, a yellow for voting and a card with the vendors names. Settled at a table, which we had to defend for the entirety of our stay, we picked the stalls closest to our table we went up to retrieve the first and second of the fried goodness.
Other Side Fried
Spoiler alert: This was my favourite of the whole day and my winner, winner, chicken dinner. I almost wish I hadn't eaten this one first as it set the bar for all the others! A cocoa chilli and maple chicken fillet with coriander mayo which was incredibly sweet, complimented by the mayo on top. It should have come with chillies but I opted out, as I am not a spice fan (more on that in a minute). Who knew that maple and chicken worked so well together!
My least favourite of the day, this chicken piece was smothered in the hottest sauce. It took me the longest to eat because my lips were on fire and I couldn't tell you if the chicken was good or the batter was crispy as all I could taste was the sauce, but the actual chicken was double coated & double fried Asian tenders.
Second round and the venue was starting to fill up a little bit with lots of people taking pictures of their food! We grabbed the next two portions and headed back to the table to taste our treats.
Unfortunately this chicken although covered in chipotle salt and crushed Chilli Heatwave tortilla chips did not rate very highly on my list at all. In fact I think if Daja hadn't of been so spicy this chicken would have come in last place. It was a bit too generic chicken and not enough outstanding flavours. The cajun mayo was probably the best bit which as a fried chicken lover doesnt say much for the chicken at all.
I ummed and aahed between this one and Other Side Fried for my favourite. It was so close, because this chicken was also delicious. Masa fried pieces with guava glaze and habanero mayo. The chicken was succulent and there was some spice but at a level that complimented rather than overwhelmed.
With those tested there was no time to delay, we weaved our way through the crowds selecting our next targets.
This take on the fried chicken came in a Korean spicy wings treat. The wings also had a level of sweetness to them that I seemed to be favouring in my chicken. There wasn't too much chicken to be had but this was expected as wings always are quite small. A solid medium in the flavour stakes.
The battered chicken from this vendor was one of my favourites. Although the chicken was very tasty indeed it was served with a gravy, which I found to be a bit cold and congealed so I avoided it and just ate the chicken, which were big nugget sized pieces. It was no surprise that I liked this one as the batter was ginger beer based.
We reached the final two in our fried chicken quest which was fortunate as we were starting to get a little full!
Bill or Beak
Szechuan miso tenders with fermented green chilli hot sauce which I thought would be hotter than it was, so I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to eat this without breaking a sweat! It did leave the tongue strangely numb however.
Tea-brined, twice buttermilk soaked Cajun chicken strips with hot sauce which sounds like quite a mouthful and was to eat also, they gave us some decent size portions (some of the other vendors were a bit measly) and the batter was crispy with a little bit of a kick to it.
Overall I was completely satisfied with the chicken on offer throughout the day. The ticket was £25, which worked out at around £3 a portion, a little less with the free drink thrown in. Speaking of , I was disappointed in the drinks served, it was a choice of either an expensive cocktail or an IPA which is not a drink I particularly like. There was no cider on offer which I thought unusual but perhaps not hipster enough? We made our chicken choices, and left with full bellies! The overall winner of the weekend was Petare as voted for by the public which doesn't surprise as it was delicious, although I still remain happy with my maple drenched chicken winner!
My overall ratings:
1st place - Other Side Fried
2nd place - Petare
3rd place - Mother Clucker
4th place - Mother Flipper
5th place - Only Jerkin'
6th place - Bill or Beak
7th place - Killadilla
8th – Daja Chicken