We were pretty chuffed to be asked along to the preview of the new Happy Bird restaurant, which is opening this Friday (26th) on Whiteladies Road in Clifton. We wanted to see how the chicken was going to fare against Bristol’s other offerings and also – what was the restaurant going to look like? So far, it’s been shrouded in secrecy, covered outside by big wooden boards, promising the best tasting chicken in the city.
This chicken shop is modern and funky, with a colour palette of yellow and white. A stylish neon chicken sign oversees the diners whilst there is also a ‘Cluck and Collect’ point at the counter for those who wish to take away. There are lots of tables and benches, window seats too. The ordering point is no different to those late night eats that you’d visit on a night out, but with a fresh approach.
Happy Bird pride themselves on having a close relationship with the farm that provides them with their birds. The manager and team here regularly go and oversee how the chickens are getting on, what their living environments are like and want to ensure the produce they are sourcing is of high quality. There are leaflets on every table along with menus providing full transparency about the poultry provided, and the team are more than happy to answer questions and chat about this if you so wish (we like that).
OK.. the menu. Happy Bird caters for the fried chicken lovers and also those who might not want to be as indulgent (or if you’ve decided to ‘be good’ that day). Fresh salads with grilled chicken come laden with green leaves, peppers, crunchy radishes and generous portions of meat. You can choose from a grilled chicken burger or fried, or take your pick from chicken wings or selects and fries. There is plenty of choice.
We sampled the chicken wings which were drizzled in a honey and chilli glaze; the meat was juicy and moist and they were gobbled up pretty much as soon as they were set in front of us. Next, were the burgers and fried chicken pieces. Once again (and to our delight) the chicken portions were not shy (Happy Bird explains that because their chickens are free range, allowed to eat more and graze, plus they live longer than mass farmed birds, they are bigger). The fried chicken was crisp and crunchy, not to mention juicy without any hint of dryness, and this is where Happy Bird’s homemade sauces totally come into their own. They have a whole range which have been tried and tested, and whilst they are all delicious, we particularly loved the spicy ‘Portugeezer’. So whilst this fried chicken isn’t intended to be ‘dirty’, we added lots of this tasty sauce into our bun.
For once, there was so much food we could barely finish, but what we did eat, we thoroughly enjoyed. Happy Bird is a fantastic spot for a spontaneous lunch or dinner, or is perfect for grabbing a group of mates for that casual meal. The sound system pumps out upbeat party songs that create a wonderful buzzy atmosphere within the restaurant and the staff are all really friendly.
Obviously, sometimes you want to just order that fried chicken and eat it at home in your pants, we get that. Happy Bird gets that too, so you are able to collect and order for delivery. But, if you are craving a winner winner chicken dinner in the comforts of cool surroundings, we suggest you pop in.