Inside new fried chicken chain Mother Clucker as we try the menu – is it really a rival to KFC?
MY mouth is watering as the smell of fried chicken hits my nose as I scroll through the menu of new fast food restaurant Mother Clucker.
I'm inside the fried chicken chain's first UK restaurant in Angel, London.
You've probably never heard of Mother Clucker – but it's been around since 2013, dishing up food at festivals and food markets.
It's first-ever restaurant has now opened in London and the chain is planning to expand to 10 locations in the north of England, Scotland, the Midlands and the South East by the end of next year.
I'm testing out whether it can give KFC a run for its money.
As I enter the branch, you can see the chefs in the kitchen preparing batches of fried chicken, dirty fries, and waffles.
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The menu does look similar to KFCand there's even a spicy fried chicken burger that you can order as part of a meal deal.
You order like you would at KFC and McDonald's too – customers can use touch screens at the entrance of the restaurant to choose and pay for their fast food.
When your meal has been cooked, your order number will flash up on a screen and you can collect it from the till – just like you would at your favourite chains.
But you’ll be paying the price for your grub.
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When The Sun checked KFC's prices online using a central London postcode, a Fillet Burger Meal – including regular fries or side and a drink – cost £6.99.
The the most similar burger to this at Mother Clucker is the Big Cluck.
However, it costs £9.45 as part of a meal deal, including fries and a drink or milkshake (but you do get refills on fizzy drinks).
Unlike KFC, you'll find waffles on the menu – which is Mother Clucker's speciality dish.
And while KFC's chicken is covered in that infamous spicy seasoning, Mother Clucker uses a more unusual ingredient: tea leaves.
It's chicken is brewed for over 24 hours in a special marinade.
Fried chicken fans may also have to wait a while before a branch comes to them, or take the trip down to London especially if they want to try the menu.
This is Mother Clucker’s first – and only – branch so far.
So are the higher prices really worth it? I put the menu to the test.
Cheesy Cluck – delicious and packed with pickles
I love a good dose of pickles with my burger.
So when I unwrapped my Cheesy Cluck and spotted plenty of them sandwiched between the fried chicken filling, I was eager to tuck in.
The burger contains buttermilk fried chicken breast, lettuce, pickles, American cheese, and lime mayo.
It will cost you £6.95 for just the burger, or £10.45 as part of a meal
The chicken fillet was enormous, and didn’t disappoint – it was hot, crispy, and not too greasy.
But I didn’t get any taste of the tea leaves that the joint cooks its chicken in – but that might not be such a bad thing.
I could hardly taste the American cheese hidden in the burger – it could have done with an extra slice.
Vegan Cheesy Cluck – just like the real deal
Fast food chains have really upped their game offering vegan options on their menus.
McDonald’s launched the McPlant last year, while Burger King has added vegan “chicken” nuggets to its menu.
I was intrigued to see what Mother Clucker had to offer – so I picked the Vegan Cheesy Cluck to see how it compared to its ordinary Cheesy Cluck.
It will cost customers £6.95 on its own, or £10.45 as part of a meal
In terms of the fake chicken, it tasted just like the real deal.
But the cheese didn’t quite hit the spot – which isn’t surprising, as anyone who’s tried a vegan version knows it can be disappointing.
Vegan chicken strips – I couldn’t tell the difference
Tasting vegan meat that tastes just like the real thing has made me think about ordering vegan options from the menu more frequently.
Covered in crispy batter, the Vegan chicken strips came with two pots of homemade dip and cost £5.95 for three, or £ for five.
If you’re a sauce fiend like me, you’ll be pleased to hear that the pots were quite generously sized.
It tasted just like real chicken – apart from the texture was different, and a little more rubbery.
Chicken Bacon and Wowffles – a little sickly after a while
I’ve always been a bit suspicious of sweet and savoury combos (ham and pineapple pizza, I’m looking at you).
But I was curious to try the Chicken Bacon and Wowffles dish, which will set you back £8.95.
It’s one of Mother Clucker’s speciality dishes, with fried chicken and strips of bacon smothered in three types of sauces – mayo, hot pepper sauce and maple syrup.
I was worried about trying all these flavours at once.
But luckily they all worked together, and the heat from the chilli sauce went really well with the sweetness of the syrup and the waffle.
Although I enjoyed it, I wouldn’t be able to eat the whole thing though, as I thought it was a little sickly.
Filthy Tots – nice and cheesy
I was very excited to try the Filthy Tots.
As I sat down with the huge box of mini fried potato balls smothered in cheese sauce, bacon bits and gravy, I thought it was great value for money.
For £5.25, as you could easily split it between two people, which means it would be roughly £2.62 each.
The hot gooey cheese sauce was delicious, and the bacon bits nice and crispy.
The potato tots could have been a little crispier but they tasted delicious.
Oreo Wowffles – sweet and saucy
If you have a sweet tooth, the Oreo Wowffles will be a hit for you.
Two big dollops of vanilla ice cream were on top of sweet waffles, and bits of Oreo were crushed over the top.
My verdict: It's better than KFC
At first, I was a bit put off by Mother Clucker's prices.
You'll be forking out more for your grub – and it takes a lot to beat that familiar crunchy KFC fried chicken.
But taking into account the portion sizes you get for your money – the Filthy Tots were huge and could be split between two as a snack – I thought Mother Clucker was great value for money.
The quality of the burgers was great, and they were packed full of filling and slathered in sauce.
I couldn't help but think of the small number of times I've been to KFC and bit into a lukewarm burger, only to be left disappointed.
While Mother Clucker's burgers were juicy and piping hot.
I wouldn't recommend it over KFC if you're on a budget.
But if you're hungry and looking to treat yourself, it's a great place to get your fried chicken fix.
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A good helping of chocolate sauce was the cherry on top.
At £5.75, you might want to think about splitting it between two people to lower the cost of your bill.
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