A lunch well worth the winter trek!
On the snowiest day in Brighton, with the beast from the east in full swing, hubby and I pulled on our woolly hats and wellies and braved the elements to have a taste of one of Brighton’s new-ish eateries, The Bok Shop. I have heard rumours about this fried chicken focused American style restaurant, so was thrilled when I was invited for a taste.
When we arrived we were greeted by friendly faces and the sweet smell of fried chicken, already a great sign. It’s not a massive place, but it definitely has a load of personality. The décor is comfortable and casual, with sleek lines, and bit of an Asian flavour, and the focal point bar is generously stocked with all kinds of welcoming bevies. They have definitely created a funky Brighton-esque feel that is fresh and contemporary without being too hipster, and I loved that they were playing chilled out hip hop which made me feel right at home.
Great friendly service
Our sweet waiter came over right away and explained the menu, told us the sides were served family style, and then gave us a rundown of his favourite eats. He even offered to show us pictures of all the options, which was very handy, as he had them uploaded on his phone. In the end we took all of his advice, and probably ordered more food than anyone should, but I am very pregnant and I was very excited about all the deep fried Americana!
Not just for Chicken lovers
While we were waiting for our fried feast to arrive, we chatted about the menu with a few veggies that were sat next to us. Not only does the Bok Shop have kickin’ Chicken, but they have plenty of vegan and veggie starters, sides, and burgers, so just cuz you are a chicken fiend doesn’t mean your foliage focused friends will be left out in the cold (get it, because of the snow!).
First class drink selection
The Bok Shop also has a banging booze menu that includes top shelf spirits, beer, soft drinks, champagne, Bok Shop Brand wine, as well as my new favourite dalliance Crooked Alcoholic Soda. It’s like a San Pellegrino with a kick, not too sweet, and just the right amount of refreshing to help you keep eating all the fried fantastic. The Blood Orange and Passionfruit one was my favourite and hubby loved the Raspberry and Lime. Don’t worry Captain prego only had a sip of each, but I will absolutely be back to try the full line once Sir Fluffington the Second has arrived. (Name pending)
I had a bit of a Christmas morning feeling when the food started pouring out of the kitchen and on to our table.
It all looked and smelled amazing, so much so that hubby had to slap my hands to keep from digging in before getting my review pics. The hungry pregnant struggle is real! Two words, Fried. Pickles. HELLO! I am a bit of a fried pickle fanatic, my Aunt Merlene owns a restaurant in southern Mississippi where fried pickles are a staple, so they were an absolute must for me. A generous portion of lightly battered and deep fried dill pickle spears are about as southern Mississippi as you can get. Just add a porch swing and a mason jar of sweet tea and you’d be in Escatawpa! They were crunchy, delicious, and totally authentic, Aunt Merlene would be proud.
In a town full of fries and chips, why not break with tradition and go for something a bit sexier, like Bok Shop Put the Peelers Out skins. These deep fried seasoned potato skins have just enough crisp to satisfy your every potato-ey need, and when they are dipped in the Thai Basil Jalepeno sauce it’s a party in your mouth. Don’t get me wrong I am sure the Bok Shop do amazing fries and mash, but when offered potato skins I think it’s a bit of a no brainer.
One thing is an absolute must for your meal, the Naked Slaw. It is the dogs b*££$! The ideal pallet refresher and companion to all the deep fried American goodness. Crisp, fresh, sour, and tangy, exactly what you need when your maniacally shovelling fried pickles, fried potato skins, and fried chicken, dripping in spicy chipotle mayonnaise, into your face. (My mouth is literally watering writing this, thought you should know). The key to eating fried and fabulous food is balance, and the Naked Slaw provides exactly this. With its sweet and sour apple maple dressing and crunchy hazelnuts, it is a moment of tangy relief that allows you to carry on with reckless abandon, while trying to convince yourself that since it’s technically a salad this whole meal is practically diet food.
Next up is the simple yet sexy grilled sweet corn. Similar to the naked slaw, the grilled sweet corn provides that change in texture and a bit of smoky sweet relief amongst the deep fried divine. With a sprinkle of chili, spring onion, and coriander, it was a delicious and refreshing addition to the platter.
At the moment Brighton has a bit of a chicken wing fetish, so we just had to try the Bok Shop’s Bokadoosh wings….as if we needed more food?! Buttermilk fried chicken wings, cooked to a perfect crunchy yum, served dry with a sprinkle of Gochujang Korean spices, which gave a nice kick without making you go taste blind. However, if you desire that eye-watering grab-for-the-nearest-flower-vase-for-relief kind of heat then fear not Bok Shop has plenty of super spicy sauces to top up any spice addict. Personally I would suggest a slathering of the green top Siracha, it’s an Asian flavour bomb!
The burgers themselves
For my main event the waiter recommended The Hot As Cluck Burger with extra bacon and extra cheese. He clearly knows me on a deep spiritual level, because this burger was pretty much made for me. Piled high on a soft roll were two juicy buttermilk fried chicken thighs, pickled cucumber, lettuce, and spicy chipotle slaw, it was everything I’d hoped and dreamed. I am a sucker for anything Chipotle and that slaw was a bit of a game changer. I’m usually one to slather on loads of sauce when I get a burger, but absolutely no need with this crunchy, juicy, chipotle-ey delight.
After braving the elements, (trudging uphill both ways through the blizzard if you hear him tell it) hubby was feeling particularly entitled to gorge himself, and decided to go for The Bossman, which no mere mortal should dare undertake. Let me break it down for you. From bottom to top: BOK bbq sauce, lettuce, cucumber, thigh fillet, cheese, hash brown, thigh fillet, cheese, hash brown, topped with more BOK bbq sauce. Boomtown! Now sometimes when you order the ‘beast meal’ on a menu it is purely a gimmick, but not at the Bok Shop, this bad boy was not only a massive undertaking, but a beautifully balanced pile of delicious. The Bok bbq sauce is totally lush, just the right amount of sweet and spicy, and it can also be used as a face moisturiser…well at least I hope it can because it ended up on my chin, cheeks, and forehead after attempting a bite from across the table. Super glamourous.
Overall we thought everything The Bok Shop served was Boking Delicious!
Kentucky Fried Who? Sorry Colonel, but you ain’t got nothing on the Bok Shop. Perfectly crunchy, flavoursome, and dripping with juice, chicken thighs that inspire you to eat until you are wildly uncomfortable and loosening your dungaree straps. Keep in mind I am already wearing maternity trousers, and eating for two, and I still had to make wardrobe adjustments. Once the Fluff is evicted, and I have my body back, I am going back to The Bok Shop to do bad things to good chicken, and wash it all down with a six pack of Crooked Alco-soda and I can’t wait!
See the listing for The Bok Shop – Fried Chicken Brighton