COCONUTS HOT SPOT — We don’t know ’boutchoo, but when we’re craving for fried chicken, it’s either fast food or Korean joints for us. Sure, we’ve sampled the platters of fried chicken at Bird Bird’s previous incarnation on Ann Siang Hill before, but that was nothing compared to the restaurant’s newly-revamped concept.
Now taking up a brightly-lit space along Frankel Avenue, the eatery has come a long way from its gritty, street food-style vibes in the CBD. Besides its physical facelift, Bird Bird’s menu now leans more towards Southern comfort food and away from its former Thai influences.
But fret not, you won’t mistake it for any other generic cafe in Singapore. The restaurant — owned by Artichoke’s Bjorn Shen — still retains its
chickyness cheekiness and ‘no buts about it’ attitude towards anyone who dares enter while on a self-imposed diet of no carbs/no grease/no sugar.
If you were a fan of Bird Bird before, you’ll either be pleased or disappointed to realize that the only item that survived the makeover is the uber popular Bangkok fried chicken. Dunked into rice flour batter with a blend of Thai herbs like lemongrass and kaffir lime, the crispy bird comes with a green chilli dip for maximum eating pleasure.
Get the whole bird to share for $49, or halve it for $29 and try other flavors like the Lebanese fried chicken (an homage to Artichoke’s specialty, of course) which is doused in honey and lemon and sprinkled with za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend of oregano and thyme. The tender, slightly sweet chunks are served with a creamy, very garlicky dip called toum, which you should dig into with gusto — but only if you’re not on a date or meeting up for a romantic rendezvous after. Y’know, because garlic breath.
The last of the fried chicken trio is the classic Southern version, which is brined in Old Bay (a seasoning blend of herbs and spices) for 12 hours before it takes a bath in buttermilk and gets enveloped in a crisp coating. When the plate arrives on the table, don’t forget to douse the bird in chicken gravy — the in-house concoction is made by simmering roasted chicken bones for an entire day, and it makes a world of difference to the fried chicken. Trust us.
Okay, so unless you’re completely obsessed with fried chicken, you’ll want to get a bunch of sharing plates to complete the calorie-laden experience. You’re at Bird Bird after all; you might as well give in to temptation and indulge in a gut-busting meal.
Start with an order of house-made curly fries that you can get slathered with black truffle mayo and cheese ($12) or maple soy, Sriracha hot sauce and Kewpie mayo ($12). We say go for the latter. Then raise the creamy stakes with a piping hot bowl of mac and cheese — you’ve got four options to choose from: crawfish with smoked bacon ($12), braised duck ($12), black truffle with roasted mushrooms ($12) and three-cheese with garlic crumbs ($10).
Perhaps by now you may find yourself all cheesed out. The solution is simple — just head to the salad counter for a couple zesty plates of leafy greens ($6 each) to refresh your palate. For those wanting a little more heat, there’s always Bird Bird’s rack of hot sauces — and if they like you enough, they just might whip out their secret stash of even hotter sauces.
Now back to the diet destroyers. There’s the wagyu fried rice ($17), brown sugar bacon chop ($10), chunky mashed potatoes with gravy ($6), cornbread waffle with smoked maple ($3 each) and drunken clams and mussels drenched in beer ($16). But for something a little out there, try the honey mustard glazed donut with sage sprinkles nestled on a bed of milk braised pork ($16) — the idea of it may sound rather strange, but it all works wonders on your taste buds.
If you, by some miracle, still have space in your stomach left by the end of the meal, sample one of the four soft serve dessert creations on the menu. Durian lovers can go for the toasted milk softie with durian pudding, almond crust, white choc and gula melaka caramel ($16), while chocolate fanatics can get the mudslide with toasted milk softie, chocolate pudding, brownie bites and fudge ($14).
For something a tad bit lighter, the rhuppleberry option is a safe bet — it’s got a rhubarb apple strawberry cobbler crust topped with swirls of strawberry beetroot softie, candied pecans and kataifi (shredded filo) pastry ($14).
At the end of the day, you’ll (more likely than not) leave Bird Bird with a food baby/food coma — but the chefs sure make it worth your while.
Bird Bird is at 97 Frankel Ave, 6694-8270. Tues-Sun 11am-11pm.