Good | Worth a Return
Flock and Fowl
Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom
The name sure makes it obvious, Flock and Fowl, is all about chicken. Recently, the young chef was nominated for a James Beard award for his work with the bird. Being a new wave sort of place, the vibes are current. There’s the ampersand name, cashless registers, a craft cocktail program, and the designer flasks of two dollar “filtered” water on the table. Flock & Fowl is on-trend to the point of self parody. The restaurant is the second effort from the minds behind Fat Choy, an Asian-fusion burger place, which is more corny than hip. Truthfully, we prefer that sort of aesthetic.
As good wing hunters, we’ve had many famous Asian fusion wings, and recognize that Korean-style is probably the best. The wings at Flock and Fowl are ver much Korean inspired, and, as such, are fairly expensive. They might be the most expensive wings we’ve ever ordered at a restaurant, but they might be the best we’ve ever had too. The gojuchang based angry sauce is savory but not overwhelmingly spicy or umami. The batter is audibly crispy, even when soaked with sauce. You’ll eat the cartilage just to get more of the crunchy batter.
If splurging on the lowly chicken wing seems silly, the best value at Flock & Fowl is probably the chicken sandwich. The thick juicy chicken breast chicken is incredibly crunchy. The egg bread was dense but still soft. Your fingers leave impressions in it like a memory foam mattress. The mustard greens ate just a bit too salty, and the Sichuan chili oil went unnoticed, but the meat and bread were great. The curly fries were just classic and crispy seasoned curlies. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. They were good company for the sandwich, but wouldn’t have been worth a full a la carte order.
The main event here is Hainanese chicken rice. We love this classic Asian street food dish, which is, basic as can be, poached chicken and rice boiled in the resulting broth. When it’s executed right, it represents cooking at it’s most soulful and sparklingly clean.
Though this interpretation was respectful of the dish, the portion of chicken was scant and the soulful aromatics were missing. The rice was a bit soft and oily for our tastes, probably from their use of schmaltz to flavor it. The poached chicken might have been very soft and tender, but it wasn’t as caressed with gingered aromatics that radiate from the best versions. The side cup of broth was shallow in flavor and served lukewarm. The other side choice was much better, the one hour egg. This was slow poached to perfection and tasted nice on the rice. Overall, it was a fair interpretation of a great dish, but it fell far short of the hype building around this place. The fried chicken sandwich and wings, on the other hand, were excellent.
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