SECRET DINER: Florida Road’s Bird & Co disrupts the pecking order

Bird & Co

295 Florida Road, Morningside

Open: Sun to Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri to Sat 10am-10pm

Call: 087 460 0097

The Secret Diner was one of the early birds that found Bird & Co when it opened in Ballito’s Lifestyle Centre a few years ago. Then the Berea set was all atwitter. A second branch had come to nest at the top of Florida Road.

Hungry, I flew out of the office for a quick lunch and met some friends from the fashion industry.

It’s a simply designed outlet that is part of a collection of small eateries on the 295 Florida site. A lot of the custom is takeaway, but there are tables and chairs inside and more on the veranda. When the park is completed it will be a great place for lunch while you watch the world go by.

As the name suggests, the menu celebrates chicken in all its forms. There’s a strip tease – that’s strips and chips or strips and slaw (R50). The strips could either be battered or in a peri-peri sauce that takes in mild, medium, hot or super hot.

The fashionistas went this route, and super hot. Plus Bird & Co will gladly do half chips and half slaw. The strips were very good, moist, tasty and fiery. Nothing about the chicken is stringy or dry, and the chips are good. The slaw, too, is not one of the drenched-in-mayonnaise salads.

One might try the Thunder Thighs – two (R60) or three (R80) deboned on a skewer. You can also get a half deboned chicken and a side for R100.

There’s a range of burgers – with a Thai sweet chilli option and one called the backfire that boasts peri-peri mayo, feta and avo. And there are wraps, including a butter chicken wrap (R65).

I decided to Wing It. The wings come in threes and sixes (R45/R80), are nicely cooked on the coals, juicy and easy to eat.

The medium peri-peri sauce had a pleasant chilli hit, and it comes with a side. I went with slaw. I also ordered a side of onion rings.

I teamed it up with a bowl of chicken livers (R45) served with sourdough bread. The livers were nicely cooked and the sauce great for scooping up with that bread.

Service was quick, efficient and friendly. You place your order at the counter and pay for it, but if you are eating in, it’s brought to you on a plate with a smile. The added bonus is that the restaurant is halaal. And it’s certainly upset the pecking order.

Afterwards I popped in next door for dessert. Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream recently opened a second shop, having succeeded in Parkhurst, Joburg. The scoop of granadilla had a proper punch and the waffle cone was crisp. A great end to a casual lunch.

Food: 4

Service: 4

Ambience: 3

108608572 - SECRET DINER: Florida Road’s Bird & Co disrupts the pecking order

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