As I only have a few weeks left in Liverpool, I’ve made a pact to enjoy the best that the city has to offer as much as I can. Mostly, this involves visiting all of my favourite eateries and filling myself with all the foods I know I’m going to miss. One of Richard and my favourite places to visit when we’re not in the mood to cook is Yard and Coop, the self-proclaimed home of buttermilk fried chicken. We first visited for a FRIENDS quiz at the start of the year – and since then, we’ve been back more times than we’d care to admit to.
When choosing our favourite restaurants, a lot of it has to do with the vibe as well as how tasty the food is. Yard and Coop is probably one of the coolest places I’ve been to in the city – with retro video games, comfortable arm chairs and the opportunity to eat your dinner in your very own chicken coop if you wish, the entire place screams cool as f**k. I’m probably (definitely) not cool enough to be a regular there. When a friend of mine, Katy, mentioned that she was organising a tasting event there to promote Yard and Coop’s afternoon tea service (fried chicken afternoon tea? Yes please), I knew I had to get on that guestlist – and boy, am I glad I did.
Let me begin by saying that Richard and I actually went to Yard and Coop the Wednesday before this event – there’s literally no such thing as too much where Yard and Coop is concerned. I’ve never been for afternoon tea at the restaurant, however, so this was a whole new experience and honestly, I didn’t really have much idea on what to expect. I made a point of not looking at the afternoon tea menu before I went – an element of surprise never did any harm to anyone – and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting.
Forget cucumber sandwiches and prissy fancies; fried chicken afternoon tea is a concept I am well and truly behind. After we’d got ourselves seated and ordered a few tipples (although I started the night with a non-alcoholic ginger beer), the food began to be served. If you’re imagining fried chicken served on one of those fancy three-tiered afternoon tea platters – then keep imagining as you’re completely on the ball.
It’s bottom layer was comprised of enough Dirty Bird to satisfy two – Dirty Bird being a combination of chicken breast strips, chips and a menage-a-trois of Bee’s Knees, Dr Pepper BBQ and Blue Cheese sauces. Some of the girls there found the sauce to have a bit of a kick but I like a bit of spice with my food so it was absolutely perfect for me. The second layer had some of Yard and Coop’s most popular side dishes – Amaizeballs, deep fried sweetcorn balls (tricking your body into believing that you’re eating healthy food, obvz) and Gunpowder Chicken – accompanied with sauces for dipping. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Amaizeballs personally, but they weren’t at all unpleasant and I ate them anyway. The final tier was made up of dessert – iced vanilla cupcakes and nutty, chocolate brownies. Perfect for satisfying that sweet tooth and filling that final corner of your stuffed stomach.
Because we were at a tasting event, the team at Yard and Coop were kind enough to treat us to a few of their side dishes as well. Steaming hot cheesy mac and cheese, Loaded Tatties that made me weak at the knees, halloumi nugs, feta and honey balls and brussel sprouts (!!!) – nothing was too much for them and everything tasted absolutely fantastic. I was especially fond of the halloumi nuggets (aptly named Not Chicken Nuggets) and would happily eat my bodyweight in them if I had the chance.
No trip to Yard and Coop is complete without a cocktail – I’ve tried quite a few of them over the last few months but I gave the Making Your Bucks up gin cocktail a go – a mixture of prosecco and blood orange gin. I’m not a big drinker but I’ll probably have this one again – it was really thirst quenching and it was a very generous size.
After we’d finished up eating, Faye our lovely host gave us some insight to where Yard and Coop is going next. She teased the idea of Christmas dinner inspired Afternoon tea (launching soon – sounds incredible! Think Christmas dinner and accompaniments on a three-tiered tower. Bliss.) as well as a brand new Yard and Coop karaoke room! Moving to (outside) Leeds still gives me the added benefit of having a Yard and Coop on my doorstep – and we will definitely be heading back there as soon as we’re settled.
Chicken afternoon tea? My idea of a good time.
(Items mentioned in this review were gifted but as always my words and views are my own.)
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