It was a particularly miserable day and my guest and I arrived wet, cold and looking like two stray dogs from our walk to the restaurant. Fire and Feathers, a Portuguese inspired chicken joint, is located on Fulham High Street – not the kind of place you expect to see people wandering in looking like stray dogs. The manager must have been wondering whether to give us the royal greeting of a critic or to kindly ask these lost hobos to leave.
Fortunately they chose the former and we were greeted by friendly staff and shown to our table. One thing you immediately notice Fire and Feathers has going for it is a cool, relaxed atmosphere. It feels like a hangout and the décor reflects this – it has the feel of a trendy, spacious warehouse studio with lots of natural woods and brick walls.
We start off with cocktails, an Amoreria (Bison Grass Vodka, cucumber, kiwi and fresh apple juice) and a Bagas do Algarve (gin, lime juice, mix of forest berries topped with ginger beer.) The Bagas do Algarve was an interesting one; spicy and musty with a jam like quality, neither are particularly extravagant but with big glasses at around £7.00 they’re cheap and cheerful.
The starters quickly come and shovelling down spicy, grilled king-sized prawns with our cocktails is a real treat; pretty soon we’re kicking back and cracking jokes. The bowl of fried chorizo was a little underwhelming, but again the choice of food works well for the environment. It’s hard not to have a good time sharing, drinking and loudly coming up with Miliband related puns (Millibanter).
Chicken time looms closer and we are excited by the prospect of large plates of meat. In the name of objective reviewing we go for something on the “not chicken” section of the menu to accompany our bird. The grilled Sea bass with chargrilled vegetables turned out to be somewhat of a show stealer. A good meaty choice of fish, well seasoned and of fairly hefty size, it left you satisfied, like a steak from the sea. It is refreshing to see some appropriately chosen fish that sits well with the rest of the options on the menu. Plus points go to it being a slightly less common species of fish, the wider variety of seafood people eat the less pressure is put on more commonly eaten species.
The chicken was delicious and perfectly cooked with crispy skin and moist flesh, although nothing you haven’t tried a hundred times before; when done well it is always a self indulgent feast. One notable difference is they serve little poussins, so it’s one whole chicken per person, which normally looks beautiful on a plate but here is chopped up into wings, legs and breast. Less fiddly to eat but somewhat defeating the point of having the poussins. For sides we ordered a bowl of African rice; black rice with peas and chopped bacon a lovely rich and meaty side, good value too at £3.50, and an obligatory portion of chips.
Feeling full and slightly tipsy we were determined to continue gorging in the name of professionalism and ordered our desserts accompanied with dessert cocktails. The Portuguese custard tart served with vanilla ice cream was pleasant and creamy although the pastry. The chocolate brownie, also served with vanilla ice cream was perfectly acceptable with a good rich chocolate flavour but a little too dry. All in all nice enough puddings for the end of the meal but definitely a little average. The stars were the cocktails – the classic expresso martini, a concoction of vodka, expresso and Kahlua, and a sweeter sister cocktail that adds some Baileys and vanilla vodka to the mix. These dessert cocktails seem to be getting more popular.
Fire and Feathers is a friendly, fun and honestly priced eating experience. It doesn’t go for anything too adventurous and it doesn’t have the widest selection of food but everything it does serve is perfectly cooked by the chefs and well suited to the experience it’s aiming for. A relaxed and fresh restaurant it feels like a hangout and great place for young people to meet up and enjoy themselves sharing food and swigging cocktails.