Review: Happy Bird

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Happy Bird opened three weeks ago on Whiteladies Road, offering “free-to-roam” poultry from the Yorkshire Dales. I was amongst the first customers through the door. At 18:00, the doors opened, and a huge crowd rushed in. There was a tangible sense of excitement in the air, everyone was looking forward to their chicken meals.

Chicken wings with a spicy sauce.
Chicken wings with a spicy sauce

The first thing that struck me about the restaurant was the gorgeous presentation. Everything was immaculate and the walls adorned with neon signs. Music was playing loudly, but not distractingly, and the delicious smell of chicken filled the air.

However as I drew closer to the counter, I noticed that the prices were high. Six wings and a sauce cost £8, a piece of grilled breast was £6, and a breast burger was £9. I opted for three pieces of grilled chicken and a sauce, setting me back £9. I was not deterred by this and pledged to await the arrival of my food before making a judgment.

My chicken strips.
My chicken strips

Food arrived quickly, but with such a limited menu that was no surprise. Presented on a metal tray lined with greaseproof paper, the meal would not win awards for its presentation.

The chicken was very good, although I could not taste the “free-range difference”. It was no nicer than KFC, yet I did feel somewhat better about what I was eating. Having finished though, I was still hungry and had to eat some of my friend’s chips. They were not brilliant by any means.

My friend's chicken burger and chips.
My friend’s chicken burger and chips

On the other hand, my experience was far from negative.

The staff were extremely friendly and came up to our table asking about the quality of the food and our experience. This was extremely heartening and made the meal much more enjoyable.

I left swiftly after finishing, as the queue was stretching out of the door. Having reflected on my meal, I came to the conclusion that whilst the Happy Bird offers good food in an exciting setting, the price significantly lets down the meal experience. With slightly above average chicken held back by extortionate prices, I would not recommend a visit to Happy Bird unless you are desperate to visit every chicken shop in Bristol.