Bonehead chicken – re-launch review

Last Thursday, I attended ‘chicken shack’ legends Bonehead’s re-launch opening night.

It had been a while since I’d tried some decent fried chicken. I think, it was Chance & Counters in Digbeth who serve some surprisingly tasty chicken wings.

As I approached fellow music-head Joel appeared at the front door, to explain the procedure. It is now a virtual queuing system, operating as walk-ins only – no bookings. He took my number and said the table would be available in around 20 minutes, which was just enough time to nip next door and share a pint at Cherry Reds with foodie gal about town – Victoria Osgood.

The pint was near the bottom when Joel appeared again at Cherry Red’s door explaining the table was ready, I must have missed their text.. now that is service for you!

Upon entering this dark grungy environment, it feels a little more like a rock bar than a restaurant, but these guys are local legends, so if ya know ya know.

As I took a tall table and high stool, Heart shaped Box by Nirvana played, what a tune, followed by Black Sabbath’s Iron Man – the music policy rocks, literally.

Poster art on walls is reminiscent of of Digbeth’s street art culture, which feels like a nice connection, considering we are in the heart of Birmingham – chain restaurant central! I will name check Foka Wolf on the wall, an artist I have a lot of time for with his witty edgy poster art, probably now nationally known in those circles.

Joel is a good guy to have working here as he runs local alt music night Killer Wave, with cool DJ nights and psych indie bands in venues across the city. 

Although I sat downstairs, there is also an upstairs for a more proper restaurant feel. It was busy, but not so busy that it became a distraction. Just nice people, also said hi to Laura Creaven, another foodster in Brum.

If you’ve not left with sticky fingers, and a sweaty head after dining at Bonehead, you’re simply not doing it right!

I began with a refreshing pint of Bonehead beer, which went down nicely as I awaited my food order.

This arrived in less than ten minutes – impressive. A well oiled machine is Bonehead. 

As I had ordered a few items, it emerged from the darkest depths of Boneheads’s heavy metal kitchen… as a saucy platter of cock n’ waffle!

I tucked into the Dragon Wings first which are sriracha honey glazed, with spring onion, sesame, and kewpie mayo. My word Mr Wordsworth… I licked the Bonehead bones dry, the chicken was cooked just right for me. Sometimes I find chicken wings can be a bit weedy on the meat, but these were juicy n’ fat, with the most ridiculously sticky glazed coating, wicked and delicious!

I wiped my fingers clean before embarking on the Tender Strips to get mucky again. These consist of buttermilk fried chicken tenders with a special Bonehead seasoning – you can also go for a more spicy seasoning should you choose. Lightly crispy, crunchy and most certainly soft and tender. I felt no need to dip into the sauces. It was too good to adulterate.

The Waffle Fries – were as you’d expect, crispy, and errr.. potatoey!

It is what it is, just bloody good, extremely delicious chicken, and of course you can go for burgers and other similar options. One thing to note, if you want free-range chicken, at present this is not available, as I think it perhaps used to be? But this may revert back in time so I understand.

After a quick catch up with the manager, I said for some reason the tune D for Damager by Wildchild came to mind, “back once again” etc.. so he stuck it on the play list, which sounded ace, as people nodded their heads and devoured a tonne of chicken.

When it comes to fried cock.. I really can’t imagine it gets any better? Answers on a postcard eh.

If you’ve not left with sticky fingers, and a sweaty head after dining at Bonehead, you’re simply not doing it right! I’ll go back, n’ take me mates.

Bonehead is open Tues to Sat on Lower Severn Street, Birmingham City Centre.

Words by Nick Byng for Grapevine Birmingham.