By Laura Nickoll
‘Harlem meets Shoreditch’ is part of Red Rooster’s spiel, and whether you think this is a pale imitation of Marcus Samuelsson’s much hyped New York fried chicken joint or a full facsimile, it’s undeniably a fun place to take children and dig into some modern, playful twists on Southern soul food. It sits behind The Curtain hotel and members club in Shoreditch, in the basement with a just-as-colourful Tienda Roosteria taco and tequila joint on the ground floor above it.
What to eat? Sharing is encouraged, and the signature ‘fried yard bird’ which comes with yams, hot honey, collards and green beans is a hearty plateful. Nods to Samuelsson’s Ethiopian heritage (the spices on the yard bird) and childhood in Sweden (gravlax, Helga’s meatballs) appear here and there too. Many of the same dishes have made it across the pond, including the Obama short ribs (only available from 5pm) – a dish he made for the President which went down famously well – shrimp ‘n’ grits and cornbread.
Pipsqueak tip Just like the original restaurant in Harlem, there’s Sunday gospel brunch that kids will love.