Whole Fried Chicken


OK, it’s Saturday night, sun’s shining, pavements are a-buzzing, and we’re in Glasgow’s most cosmopolitan and ever-changing food area: take a bow Dumbarton Road.

Now. I’ve promised Mrs Mackenna we’ll try somewhere exciting, new and different for tea tonight and despite her scepticism, new and different, at least, is what Whole Fried Chicken is all about. Come on? Have you ever had black meteorite fried chicken before? The secret (according to the sign in the window) is squid juice powder.

Or salted yolk chicken wrap? Wowser. Didn’t think so. Sour plum BBQ chicken ribs, anyone? Korean style rice cakes? Korean-style popcorn chicken? Crikey.

OK, forget the last three completely because as we will discover, slowly and painfully, in an ordering process that’s best imagined coming with that irritating lift music they play to ironically slow things right down in Curb Your Enthusiasm – this happens.

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We order. Pause. They look at the menu. There is some behind-the-counter-consultation. Pause again. They tell us they don’t have it. Pause. We look again. Honey and wasabi chicken skewer? No. Whole honey fried chicken? No. Plum sour? No. And on it goes.

This is all punctuated by shrill electronic announcements of new incoming orders from the internet, strange flashings too taking place on the world’s biggest and most impressive till, and this occasional question from me.

Er, where’s the kitchen? This being because behind the two young folk at the counter, all I can see is, frankly, an, unoccupied, untidy mess.

There is a kitchen there, comes the answer. Is there a chef, a cook? I then ask. Yes, comes the reply. Oh-kay. Anyway, we get to the end of this process and black meteorite chicken is available, hurrah; the salt yolk wrap too and a Thai chicken wrap (there is virtually nothing else).

We’re about to pay. Bank card out. When – dum-dum-dum – here comes the knockout blow: cash only. Grrr. A sign warning of this may have been helpful, and hey, how come food can be ordered to deliver?

So Mrs Mackenna empties her purse. And then …We’re just about to take our places at the long upholstered bench seat that runs along the wall towards that picture window where they, er store, all the empty boxes, when the serving lady waves at us.

Sorry, forgot to say, it will 15 to 20 minutes for black meteorite chicken. Ooft. Right now, the only thing that could make this experience worse would be if I was to sit down on that bench seat and discover, say mid-air, arms waving, look of comedic panic on fat face, that the last third of it is about a foot lower than the rest. Crash. How Mrs Mackenna laughs.

The Herald:

She’s still laughing when the food arrives. Not laughing so much though when I accidentally take her Thai spiced chicken wrap – a clean wrap, properly seared, nice spicing on the generic chicken fillet – and she is left with the salt yolk one. I’m not sure you should actually be able to see orangey runny yolk on this, I say, and she too is unsure and therefore not eating it.

I take that culinary bullet. It’s fine. First time I had prawns in salt yolk batter was in that basement restaurant on West Princes Street. It was always crispy. This isn’t, but the chicken is and it’s salty, sweet. Kinda different.

Not as different as the big reveal of the night though: black meteorite chicken. It’s called meteorite chicken because it looks exactly as if it had fallen through the sky in a fiery blaze. Aka unappetising. Black. Bubbled. Incinerated. It’s not burnt though. Instead the batter turns out to be surprisingly bland.

The chicken inside at least is moist. As I finish it, I delve into the bright yellow fast food box it arrived in and recover a little square packet of moist towels to wipe my hands.

At last, a nice touch, I mutter. I tear it open. Uh? It’s actually a rubber glove. Whole Fried Chicken then? I dunno. It’s certainly different.


Whole Fried Chicken

147 Dumbarton Road,


Tel: 07894-971863

Open: closes 9pm


Menu: Black Meteor chicken, plum chicken ribs, Korean rice cakes: this place is nothing if not different, though most items unavailable when we ate. 3/5

Service: Counter service and perfectly pleasant, but they don’t take cards (and don’t mention it til the end), some dishes take a very long time (and don’t mention that either). 3/5

Atmosphere: This really should be nul points. Empty boxes piled at the window, buzzy neon decor, and a view into what? A kitchen or a messy storage area? 2/5

Price: The wraps were a very reasonable £3.50, the Black Chicken Leg £6.60, whole chickens if you can get one, £13.99. 3/5

Food: On paper this place has possibly the most interesting menu in the whole city; in practice? That Meteorite Chicken is a shock to look at but a bore to taste. The rest, what they had available, so-so. 5/10

Total: 16/30