Smokey Chilli Roast Chicken from Top Bird Credit: Michael Josem

After the debacle of my haggis and hummus pasta the other night, the kind people from Top Bird (in the physical premises normally occupied by Little Fish Cafe) offered me a roast chicken out of sympathy. Who can blame them? No one would allow a friend to eat haggis and hummus pasta a second time!

Ordering on their website was easy. Choose a way to have roast chicken cooked (I chose smokey chilli and lime, but the other options are rosemary & lemon butter or yakitori sesame) and sides: salad and carbs. Pick it up, and away you go (they don’t currently do deliveries).

I remain convinced that the greatest roast chicken in the world is served in the Augistiner tent at Oktoberfest. There, they apply German industrialised brilliance to roast chicken. They have effectively built little roast chicken factories in the giant tents. They feature these wonderful walls where chickens are spinning in unison, and have figured out how to keep the chickens juicy while roasting. Then, they are delivered to your table with the stereotypically brilliant German efficiency.

Now, reminiscing about my past travels off the island might have exaggerated my delight for German roast chicken, and it is also possible that the flavour is enhanced by the brilliance of German schlager pop, and drinking beer with friends. At this stage, it is unclear.

But the point here is that Top Bird’s roast chicken was equally juicy, and equally delightful, and more tasty than those famed Oktoberfest chickens. This is not your tired, old, parents’ roast chicken. This is excellent, juicy, modern, roast chicken. Because it isn’t grilled, the chicken is cooked evenly throughout, and none of it is too tough or dry.

Roast chicken is pretty hardy, and it travels easily enough in the passenger seat of your car (or your backpack if you ride your back there and back) without making a mess. As a result, even when you get home a few minutes later, the chicken is ready to eat. Drop it on a plate, and you are ready to go. The only downside is that this is not really edible with your fingers: because it comes with a pretty generous sauce, you’re going to need cutlery to eat this one.

Then, there are sides. Salads and fried potato in two formats (chips/small diced) and bread. It’s a hearty meal which won’t leave you hungry, nor will it disappoint your partner, especially since Top Bird can also sell you various cocktails and wines to enhance “date night” at home.