I love seeing new independents opening up in Birmingham, especially when they’re bringing something new to the table. Sorry Indian street food, I love you, I really really do, but surely we’ve reached our quota now? I want my chicken any way but tikka, so the news that Bonehead were bringing fried chicken and liquor to Birmingham was music to my millennial ears. A gentrifried chicken shop. See what I did there? You’re welcome.
It’s a short menu and we make a dent into almost all of it in the name of research, starting with wings in a variety of coatings. I like that the chicken is all ethically raised Cotswold White, and the wings are fat and good quality. However I find the original batter anaemic in colour, under seasoned and a little floury. Not the best of starts, but then come the sour and hot buffalo wings with ranch sauce, which have us fighting over the last wing, and the hothead, which have good flavour but are more lukewarm that hot in terms of chilli fire. I can (pretend to) handle my heat, I want more.
Having gone to a chicken pop-up at The Meat Shack which served as a prequel to this opening, I was, in all honesty, a little disappointed by the burger. They’re good, don’t get me wrong; the fried chicken thigh is generously proportioned and would be described as moist if the word didn’t make me shudder. But they just don’t excite me that much. I’d like to see some of the more interesting toppings from the pop-up, rather than the same wing flavours and sauces rehashed into a burger. I need more variety, and a reason to rush back. Basically, I l want some gochujang mayo vibes up in here. Pretty please?
What did make me want to rush back, though, are the loaded waffles; potato goodness dressed in the comeback sauce and a ‘slaw that is sharp and damn-right delicious. They’re more interesting than fries, and a slight 90s childhood throwback which I love.
So here’s the thing; I liked Bonehead and really admire what they are doing, but I didn’t LOVE it. Not like I thought I would, anyway. I can’t see myself craving one of these in the same way that I do with The Meat Shack, or OPM. I can’t see myself waking up thinking about eating one. But the queues on the weekends say this will be a roaring success, and it’s great to see another independent in the John Bright Street area. Unlike many others they haven’t had time on the street food scene perfecting their trade, so given some time to settle into their skin (and some gochujang mayo – I’m not letting this go), Bonehead should be a great addition to Birmingham.
Visit Bonehead at 8 Lower Severn St, Birmingham B1 1PU