In amongst some of the most Newcastle’s most notorious night spots lives Coop Chicken House, an independent establishment on a mission to convert the Nandos-loving generation of poultry eaters to proper grilled chicken. We headed to Coop for NE1 Restaurant Week; the deal was half a chicken, two sides and a chilli shot for £10 – bargain.
Saturday is cheat meal day for Craig – the day on which he forgets he still has 3kg to lose before his next fight and, together we feast. We were greeted at Coop by a very friendly waiter who knelt beside us and explained the menu, the concept and our chilli shot options. To drink we went for soft drinks (one week of Dry January left, it’s just a shame he’s doing Dry Feb too!). I was chuffed to see they had Fentimans Ginger Beer – trumps actual alcohol any day.
Due to us both being chickens in the figurative sense, we went for two of the milder options – Sweet Heat Chilli Co. Lime Chilli Sauce and Bim’s Spicy African BBQ Sauce. To go along with our chilli treats, we ordered a whole chicken, two lots of sweet potato fries and two lots of ratatouille (I did say it was cheat day).
The chicken arrived in a giant bowl, already hacked up into perfect-sized portions and the double portion of sweet potato fries was more than enough to satisfy our craving. The chicken itself was perfectly seasoned, hot and juicy, an absolutely perfect protein-packed treat. We particularly enjoyed the ratatouille which was jam-packed with fresh roasted vegetables in a rich tomato sauce. As for the chilli shots, we both made the right decision choosing flavour over heat. The BBQ was smokey with a kick, and the chilli and lime was ‘zingy yet flavoursome’ (Craig’s words.)
Getting the chance to discover eateries like Coop is the beauty of NE1 Restaurant Week. Thanks to the fantastic service, flawless food and relaxed atmosphere, Coop have well and truly bagged themselves a pair of new regular customers.