Although from the outside it doesn’t look incredibly appetising, Roosters has always been a great place for a quick, tasty lunch. I can’t blame you for walking past the restaurant and disregarding it due to its clinical look, but I always hold it up as a favourite, especially in a conversation that includes the word ‘Nando’s’ (Emily: or “hangover” – it’s a great cure!) In fact, Roosters offers similar food (but tastier) at about half the price of the popular (over-rated) Portuguese offering.
As the chicken is so good, we rarely vary our order so went for the half a chicken meal that comes with your choice of side and a drink. They also serve a variety of other chicken dishes, steak, piri piri shrimp skewers and some other random dishes like soup!
I ordered my chicken ‘medium’ heat, while Emily ordered hers ‘lemon and herb.’ The chicken was lovely and tender and the sauce is rich in flavour and heat that Nando’s fails to live up to. The sauce also penetrates all of the meat, so each bite is as delicious and saucy as the next. The chips are hot and well cooked and Emily often has a fattoush salad on the side, which is always tasty with little bits of crunchy pitta and a minty dressing. They have their own (very cheap) brand of ketchup and mayo which is not tasty, so we would recommend springing 30p or so for one of their speciality sauces as they’re all great; we order the Tuk Tuk sauce, which is a cream cheese and sweet chilli dip that is amazing with chips.
There’s only one criticism for the flavour: there isn’t enough consistency in the heat of the sauce. On most occasions I will choose the ‘hot’ option, which is sometimes just right for me and other times is too hot to eat. They also don’t supply customers with sauce bottles to ‘top-up’ the heat as they do at Nando’s.
Overall, Roosters is a firm favourite. If you like your food spicy with plenty of flavour and for a great price then it can’t be beaten. Sorry not sorry, Nando’s.
Overall score: 8/10
Atmosphere and surroundings: 4/10
Stuart and Emily