The Flying Cock has become one of Brisbane's staple haunts for great beer, food and service (not to mention one of the best espresso martinis in the Valley). Flash forward three years later and there is a new plucker in town by the same crew of this valley institution. Say hello to The Coop Bistro, soon to be Brisbane's finest chicken pub.
The Coop Bistro, plays on my love of chicken (of course fried is even better) and ups the gastro-pub fare with a contemporary selection made from quality produce and all things chicken, of course. The head chef of this new establishment has come straight out of London, working at some of the most iconic restaurants including Smiths of Smithfield and Scotts Of Mayfair.
Co-owner David Flynn (a top bloke and dear friend) explains the idea behind The Coop Bistro; "The goal has been to completely re-imagine the bistro offering at 388 Brunswick Street with a well-rounded menu, a reinvigorated wine and signature cocktail list, and a fresh look for the space."
Having only been open for a short time, it is easy to see how this chicken haunt will fast become a weekly staple for Valley residents. Daily specials will be apparent as the menu broadens, however the focus will always be on the main star, chicken.
Those out there who are gluten free will be happy to know the main attraction, fried chicken, is cooked in a gluten-free buttermilk sauce, then fried and dusted in house spices, available as boneless breast and tenders, or drumsticks in individual pieces.
The variety of chicken does not stop there. Wings can also be ordered by weight. These are twice-cooked and go well with one of the mouth-watering sides. Vegan eaters, I would suggest should steer clear of The Coop, however if you find yourself dragged there by friends there is a vegan-friendly option of vinegar-battered cauliflower wings (definitely a must). The cauliflower wings are rolled in buffalo sauce and served with a creamy house sauce.
When it comes to chicken wings I highly recommend the blue cheese sauce; you cannot go wrong with this flavour combo. The Coop Bistro has an abundance of sauce options (eight in total) so you will definitely be able to find a flavour and level of spice or tang for your palate. A popular option with our table was BBQ and a hot spicy Korean sauce (definitely not for the faint hearted).
Other highlights at the Valley's newest resident, include a range of sides featuring char-grilled corn topped with parmesan and miso mayo and a vegetarian option in the form of an eggplant burger with shredded cabbage, sesame, mustard and mayo. Finally, one for the Brits, a panko-crumbed chicken mince scotch egg will just about take you back to the motherland.
For those watching their weight or after a lighter option The Coop delivers a range of fresh salads from a trio of tomato salad with crusty bread, basil, cucumber, onion and balsamic to a roasted broccolini and carrot salad with hummus, quinoa, pomegranate, dukkah and lemon olive oil. Of course, chicken can be added to any of the salad options.
The Coop Bistro doesn't steer far from traditional crowd favourites with menu items such as steak and chips and the always faithful chicken parmy. For those with a bigger appetite, there is a variety of share plates and burgers that will have everyone satisfied.
For those who have that second stomach that can house a delicious dessert then the gluten-free dark chocolate brownie is a must. Served on a bed of malted cream and accompanied by edible flowers and chocolate popping candy, it's an elegant twist on a childhood favourite.
Location is key for this chicken pub. Brunswick Street is not only home to a variety of cuisine, including Mexican, Japanese and Italian, but also a popular pit-stop for those looking to line their stomachs before a big night out. If you stop by the Valley and have a hankering for some chicken, you know where to go.