You know that feeling when you’ve had a super busy week at work and you just want to treat yourself to a big good meal on Friday? I found my craving fix at this place near where I work, which involves some scrumptious southern grilled halal chicken to celebrate the end of a busy and productive week! The place is called Assenheims 56.
Assenheims 56 is a cafe with a Southern American twist, specialising in grilled chicken and a variety of sandwiches. There’s always a rather big queue during lunch hours and even more so on Fridays & paydays. Seatings are available but very limited. Most people just grab a takeaway and take it back to the office (like I do) or sit down by the nearby St Dunstan Church area.
*Chicken is halal at Assenheims 56
Assenheims Famous Grilled Marinated Chicken (£8.50)
What people are queuing for or dying to treat themselves after a long week in the office? Their Famous Grilled Marinated Chicken. It’s basically whole boneless chicken thighs that are grilled till slightly charred, served with two sides plus a special homemade sauce.
It comes in a meal, with options for regular or large portion sizes. For the regular size, you get two pieces of chicken, whereas the large one offers three pieces. Honestly, the regular size one is surely already enough to fill you up good. The portion, in general, is pretty big so make sure you save space in your stomach before going. I always just order a regular size one and am constantly surprised how much chicken there actually is on my plate even though it says just two pieces.
For the sides, you can choose from rice, grilled vegetables, grilled new potatoes, or mixed salad. My go-to combo is regular chicken with rice and grilled vegetables.
As for that green sauce on top, it is their homemade specialty ‘Green Sauce’ that is made from coriander, spices and cold pressed rapeseed oil. You have the option of having that or tobasco. When I order it as a takeaway though, I would ask for a cheeky drizzle of tobasco before pouring on the green sauce.
The grilled chicken was certainly the star of the dish. It was nicely charred and succulent. However, I was expecting more of a bold and exotic taste of South America. The flavours were great but a bit more on the ‘safe zone’ in my opinion. On that note, it didn’t taste particularly outstanding or wowing. A decent plate nonetheless.
As for the sauce, I personally found it rather bland. I would expect some stimulating spices and flavours but the sauce alone by itself didn’t impress me much. Nevertheless, it tasted way better when a few drops of hot sauce had been added (hence the request of a cheeky drizzle of Tobasco), which brought out a subtle tingle of heat and a good tangy touch.
Assenheims 56 had been generous with the chicken, and they were generous on the sides too. The rice was cooked with, I believe, tomato paste and broth. It resembled the texture of paella but with a milder flavour. It wasn’t particularly impressive, lacking a bit of excitement to the palate, but decent enough nonetheless and very filling indeed. The grilled vegetables consisted of broccoli, carrots, and courgettes. I personally felt the vegetables were rather under-seasoned and were not so impressed, especially when I know they can handle the grill well. Perhaps the salad would be a better choice!
In overall, if you do work in the City of London and are looking for a teeny Friday lunch splurge on the office desk, Assenheims 56 can be an option. Though is it really a star restaurant? Nah, not really. But it’s not bad given the limited options around the area.
Assenheims 56 offers halal chicken.
Nearest station: Monument / Tower Hill