With Covid kicking off, we thought we’d duck out and get some chicken in as it may be out last chance for a while. We’d heard great things about Rebel Chicken, tucked down Pitsford Street in the Jewellery Quarter, so jumped in the van to try and get a table on what they call ‘Wing Wednesday’, where you can get bottomless wings all night for £15.00.
So we enter through their Winter Garden, lights strewn above, abundant flowers overhead. It’s chilly outside but its warm enough in the garden to see a few customers enjoying their wings. We make our way into the building, finding a neatly tucked away bar area where you can chill for a beer (we had a pint of the Meantime lager which was crisp and flavourful as well as the London pale, which was refreshing and wait for a table, or linger for your take out.
Wooden panels, tiled floor, bar top made of pennies, low lit lighting all makes this a lovely chilled space that you feel may be a little escape for JQ locals even if they just fancied a drink or two. But this place is about the chicken, so we get shown to our table in the dining area upstairs.
The Rebel Chicken kitchen steams their chicken and then marinades it, finishing on a bespoke-built charcoal rotisserie and you can really taste the quality of this process in their wings.
Split into two dining rooms, the upstairs area retains character from it’s previous industrial use, with lovely large lead-lined factory windows, chunky wooden tables with a mixture of sizes for larger groups or intimate tables for two, cool Mid-century style Danish chairs and a nice low lit ambience and enhanced by a well crafted playlist with artists such as Mos Def, IAMDDB and Jazmine Sullivan. The atmosphere is chilled although it’s busy, with people taking advantage of the bottomless wings.
We scanned the menu to decide our wings of choice but with so many tempting options we figured, let’s go for the wing platter so we can taste them all. The platter includes a selection of their signature flavours, Sriracha Hot, Korean BBQ, Honey & Soy, Jerk, Naked Grilled and this week’s special – Maple & Bacon (Previous weekly specials have included Parmesan & Garlic Crust, Blackbean & Garlic and Katsu Curry).
It would only be fair to try out one of the mains too, as followers of their Instagram, we’ve seen so many juicy pictures of their burgers and other offerings that we have a toss up between The Rebel Desi Burger and the (original) Rebel Burger. We go Desi.
The Rebel Chicken kitchen steams their chicken and then marinades it, finishing on a bespoke-built charcoal rotisserie and you can really taste the quality of this process in their wings. Of all the amazing flavours on the platter, my favourite were the Korean BBQ wings which really stood out with their sweet and sticky glaze and smokey BBQ hints, my wing-girl particularly loved the Jerk, with their perfect balance of Jerk Spice and a sweet citrus edge. We quickly made our way through the kilo leaving nothing but a pile of bones.
The Rebel Desi Burger is a creative Indian twist on the classic, with a spiced beef patty (made with finest cuts of 28 day aged chick steak and short rib mince), a rich Balti sauce giving it a nice burger vs curry mouthful, complimented by the sweet chutney and coriander encased in a freshly baked brioche bun (delivered daily from Ten Four Bake House) with generous sides of fries and apple coleslaw.
From start to finish, this was a heavyweight experience, full of friendly staff and service, a chilled and stylish environment and all the flavours and tastes you could ever need for your chicken requirements.
This creation was thoroughly enjoyed and leaves curiosity as to what all the other main options are like. It’s clear that wings are definitely their thing but it seems as much thought and attention has gone into their other menu offerings such as their ‘Dirty Bird’ – melt in the mouth buttermilk chicken smothered in Emmental cheese and their ‘The Pulled Chicken’ – hand-pulled BBQ chicken served with slaw, aioli, beef tomato, red onion and baby gem lettuce on a brioche bun.
Even though this place is a meat eaters Valhalla, there are still vegetarian and non-meat options including ‘The Falafel Burger’, and ‘The Halloumi’ and they are planning to introduce a wider range of Vegan and Vegetarian options on their new menu coming out later this year.
From start to finish, this was a heavyweight experience, full of friendly staff and service, a chilled and stylish environment and all the flavours and tastes you could ever need for your chicken requirements. We were glad this was our last supper before the Covid-19 outbreak took hold but rest assured we’ll be back for another visit when they re-open. Stay Rebel.
Words by Ollie Lloyd & Helen Sephton for Grapevine Birmingham