You know that moment when you’re shopping around and then boom it hits you! Its 4pm and you haven’t fed yourself. That feeling hit my sister and I as we were shopping in Oxford Street and we wanted some good hearty food. There was only one halal place I could think of that would really hit the spot. Just a short stroll away from Carnaby Street is Ma’Plucker, a very casual and unassuming diner. Very easy to miss if you don’t have Google Maps.
Entering the restaurant, it was a very carefree and friendly place. The decor was clean and casual, with the main wall decorated with a funky logo of the joint, followed by the short menu pasted on the walls.
We were quickly greeted by someone, who, after we introduced ourselves, quickly shouted out to his colleague who came and seated us. He was very friendly and gave us the run down on how things work around there. This is how it works in a nutshell… You basically have a choice of 3 bases (salad, house bun – which is a brioche bun, or maple waffles), chicken done 3 ways or a vegetarian halloumi option, and a selection of sauces. He informed us that all the chicken was halal and told us why that was – interestingly, the main investors of Ma’Plucker are Arabs and wanted to cater for all especially modern Muslims in the capital. Thanks big guys, we love you!
There is also a list of quick eats that you can go for if you’re not in the mood to mix and match, as well as usual starters and some funky desserts.
To the back of the menu, there is an extensive list of drinks, a small portion of which are non-alcoholic. We went for Ma’Pluckers Ice Tea Fountain with rotating favours, which suited us just fine. You can never go wrong with ice tea, although I have to say I would’ve loved a few more non-alcoholic options.
After deliberating on what to go for, we were finally ready to order. This is the best part of being a food blogger, if in doubt order it all! So we did.. We went for all three bases, with all three ways the chicken could be eaten, we meant business. We were starving, and even though the service was good but we had to wait a little while longer than our stomach would’ve wanted for the food to arrive. But it arrived and when it did we were happy to say the least.. And here it is, feast your eyes on the meal (after iftar of course!).
On recommendation, we ordered the Crack & Cheese side. What on earth is that, I hear you asking? We asked the same, and were very happily told its mac n cheese deep fried. We were sold! The scrumptious looking side arrived and we quickly tucked into it. I think the description of it got my mouth watering more than the taste. The texture was a little dry, and I had to borrow some gravy from the main dishes to wash this down. The taste was a little plain for me and the penne instead of mac was a little disappointing.
So now the mains I know this is what you’re waiting for.. So here we go, Ma’Plucker’s 3 ways, way 1: Salad base with MP Chicken skin gravy, and Rotisserie Chipotle rubbed and roasted chicken. We were told this was chicken rubbed with the spice before cooking it, and for those who didn’t want the spice (I don’t know who these would be but at least the option’s there) they could move it off and enjoy the plain chicken. I didn’t mind the subtle spice coating, it was light and not overbearing so as to cover up the most moist and succulent chicken meat i’d had in a while.
3 way chicken, Way 2: Maple waffle base, maple chilli glaze, and crispy coated boneless thigh. This was my favourite of all the dishes. The waffles were buttery soft, the buttermilk dipped chicken had a nicer flavoured coating on it before being deep fried. The maple chilli glaze was sweet, with a soft chilli kick to it. All together, a super yum combo. I could have easily had another portion of these, but unfortunately wasn’t wearing my sisters stretchy maternity jeans so decided it was probably wise that I gave it a miss!
3 way chicken, Way 3: House bun base, chipotle chilli sauce, and hickory spiced pulled chicken. It was a gigantore! My first thoughts when I saw this dish arrive were, how on earth would one eat that?! I had to use a knife and fork to cut a little wedge, but it was still messy to eat. (Probably not one for a first date) The chipotle chilli sauce had a creamy texture and a nice chilli kick. The chicken was marinated in barbecue spices which we were told aren’t like the sweet barbecue marinades out there in the market. The taste was subtle and the smokiness of the bbq sauce really came through. The combo of the chipotle sauce with the hickory spiced chicken was nice. I would have liked a little less of the chicken in the bun so that I could eat it with some (albeit limited) grace.
Of course no meal is complete without dessert, and we loved the suggestion of the 2 sundaes on the menu: Cornflake and Caramel sundae, and Ma’s Sweet ‘n’ Salty Popcorn sundae.
I love my cornflakes, and jumped at the idea of having a dessert with that incorporated into it. The Cornflake and caramel sundae looked yum, but one spoonful of the ice cream took me back to my childhood, when I used to enjoy eating cornflakes, just to finish them and enjoy slurping the cornflake flavoured milk that remained. The ice cream tasted just of that, and the caramel sauce and crispy flakes sprinkled through the sundae were just lovely.
Next, Ma’s Sweet ‘n’ Salty Popcorn sundae. After a bite of my cornflake delight, I was looking forward to being surprised by my fellow foodie’s choice 🙂 The ice cream unfortunately tasted watered down and I didn’t get the taste of popcorn come through very well. One bite was enough for me to go back to enjoying my own treat, which was super yum, right to the last bite.
Overall this was a decent place to grab a quick bite. The location is very convenient, just a throw away from the shopping streets including Carnaby Street and Liberty, and not too far to venture from tube stations. So if you’re around, I would definitely recommend stone popping over if you want some post shopping soul food!
Food – 6 out of 10
Service – 5 out of 10
Price – 7 out of 10
Atmosphere – 7 out of 10
Experience – 6 out of 10
Overall, giving Ma’Plucker a total TLH score of 7 out of 10.
Address: 75 Beak Street, London, SW1P 3BU
Halal Status: All chicken is halal
Closest Station: Oxford Circus station (Central and Bakerloo line) or Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly or Bakerloo line )
As always let me know your thoughts if you visit 🙂
PS. his meal was complimentary but the thoughts are my own 🙂