"Rotisserie-cooked dinner that’s cheap as (chicken and) chips"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
There are enough people eating burgers, BBQ ribs and hotdogs on a daily basis to continually replenish the queues spilling onto the pavements outside Meat Liquor
, Patty & Bun
, Pitt Cue Co
and a whole lot more. If say, a scandalous news piece were to cause the public to do a dramatic U-turn in a panic over their cardiac health (heaven forbid), Clockjack Oven would probably be ok. They may be capitalising on the chicken trend, but they’re one step ahead: the restaurant takes its name from a vertical rotisserie grill, on display in the restaurant, where the heat of naked flames cooks several rotating chickens at once. And while this isn’t the ultimate in healthy eating, it will make you feel marginally less guilty than a double hot dog drowning in melted cheese for example.
The chicken is free range and sourced from a small farm in Brittany, and this matters because poultry is prone to drying out, but here it’s juicy and full of flavour. £8.95 gets you four sizeable pieces, in this instance a drumstick and three bits of thigh (you can also order three pieces for £6.95 or a whole bird, which is 10 pieces, for £18.95). There are several sauces: chilli, Caesar, the pleasantly garlicky ranch, and BBQ, which we find a bit too sweet.
The “must try” crispy chicken bits are essentially gourmet nuggets, they’re a little dry and benefit from being dipped in ranch dressing. We like the CLT Torpedo, as tender shredded chicken and mayo in a fluffy buttermilk bun is a good combo, and crisp lettuce and tomato add freshness.
Aside from chicken we nibble on marinated olives and vegetable crisps – the latter are brought to the table as soon as we’re seated along with glasses of tap water, a small, yet much appreciated gesture. The house salad pairs lettuce smothered in Caesar dressing with slices of apple and sage and onion stuffing balls; it’s a bit of a mishmash, although each element is perfectly enjoyable on its own. The double cooked chips are ok, but nothing to write home about.
The two founders of Clockjack met while working at Unilever, then one went off to work for Centre Parcs and the other for Terra Firma, a private equity firm. The restaurant’s namesake is American, which is why you won’t find any other grills of the sort in the UK, that is, until they roll out their new branches, surprise surprise. But if they stick to high calibre suppliers then props to them, and with chicken and chips costing just over a tenner you could do much worse for a cheap dinner.
Leila reviewed Clockjack Oven on Fri 05 Apr 2013