Switching up the formula so dramatically after the restaurant had bedded in could have been a misstep, but in chef-patron Angelo Sato’s capable hands it has proven to be calculated success and instilled the restaurant with a new lease of life.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise. Sato has a strong pedigree having worked at some of the world’s best restaurants, including Narisawa and RyuGin in Tokyo, Eleven Madison Park in New York, and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London. He has also worked with Adam Byatt at Trinity and has been head chef at Tom Sellers’ Restaurant Story. As you would expect given his wealth of experience, dishes on the Humble Chicken tasting menu are superbly crafted and served with a theatrical edge that adds gravitas without ever feeling redundant or overbearing.
Housed in the former Barrafina site on Soho’s Frith Street, very little has changed by way of décor since its tapas bar days. Nevertheless, the feel is very different at Humble Chicken, partly by virtue of the fact that it is currently only open in the evening, giving it a moodier and calming vibe, and partly due to the bright red neon cockerel on the wall that bathes the restaurant in an atmospheric crimson glow. The overall effect is that of an elevated dive bar that, much like the food, feels simultaneously exclusive but not in any way pretentious.