Expanding on Plato, for every thing – like a pub, a burger or a fried chicken offering – there’s a perfect one in your head, to which few real examples can ever even approximate.
The near perfect pub, for me, has lots of small rooms, with wooden seats and open fires, probably no bar (a serving – hatch is fine, bringing the jugs of ale up from the cellar), no music other than morrismen (outside only)… I could go on – and I have once or twice in my life been into pubs that get pretty close, but no cigar. Perfection is unattainable. But when it comes to burgers, Honest Burgers are closing in on the asymptote.
Wishbone Brixton was very far from my ideal chicken place, but I daresay it’s closer to yours. Or someone’s. But not mine. My ideal fried chicken place would concentrate on the chicken. Start with good, flavoursome breed. One fairly slow-growing. Rear them outdoors and fatten them on lots of good grain. Delivered to the restaurant plucked and drawn, but not trussed, with the giblets. The kitchen would cut the bird into its component pieces, each of which would feature on the menu – perhaps like this:
– wings, deep fried in a hot coating;
– supremes : filled with garlic butter, dipped in seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs and fried;
– fillets : marinated and dipped in a tempura batter before being deep fried.
– drumsticks : marinated and rolled in seasoned cornmeal, then fried;
– thighs: marinated then charcoal grilled, on the bone.
– oysters: poached in concentrated broth from the carcass;
– liver: made to a pate;
– broth from the carcase
– the back skin, coated in seasoned cornmeal and fried.
Fries, thin and crispy, succulent in the middle.
Watercress. I’m sorry, it’s the only salad fried chicken needs, but it does need it.
Good beer to drink – a pilsener, perhaps, or Worthington White Shield.
Linen napkins and hot towels.