The name Chicos is quite an established name in east London, thanks to all the hype for their Legendary Smash Burger. Following their success in East Ham, they’ve gone on to open up another branch in Brick Lane! As we are always on the hunt for the best halal burgers in London, of course, we had to check out Chicos Burger now that there is a more convenient location, i.e. the Brick Lane branch.
Chicos Burger: The People’s Restaurant
Chicos prides itself as “the people’s restaurant” and is a casual eatery for simple comfort food. They are best known for their burgers, especially the smash burger, but also offer a range of other dishes including peri-peri chicken with a Nando’s-like menu, as well as a lovely selection of desserts such as Milk Cakes, Lotus Biscoff Brownies, Trifle, Cheesecake, and more.
The Brick Lane branch features vibrant blue and yellow colours, with a number of sofa booths for a cosy seating option. All meats served are halal at Chico’s and it is a HMC-certified restaurant.
The Food: What We Ordered
*Date of visit: March & September 2022
Smashin’ Prawns (£8)
The Smashin’ Prawns were essentially the ideal of Dynamite Prawns, i.e. battered fried prawns coated with sriracha mayo. In this case, the prawns are drenched in Chico’s house Smashin’ sauce. The prawns themselves were decent and generally delightful. We particularly enjoyed the crispy coating which is very generously coated with sauce. Though perhaps there is too much sauce at times and some of the bottom pieces were overpowered by the sauce.
Baby Lamb Chops (£12)
Even though it’s a starred item on the menu, we were rather fifty-fifty about the lamb chops. Essentially, they are lamb chops tossed with peri peri sauce, which offered a piquant and tangy touch over the meat. However, they’re a tad overcooked to my liking. The meat itself was quite lean, hence missing a rich umami that a bit of lamb fat could’ve offered. Each portion comes in four pieces.
Legendary Chicos Smash Burger (£8.50)
Moving onto Chico’s most famous item on the menu – their smash burgers. Each order comes with two smashed 3oz beef patties, cheese, caramelised onions and Chico’s secret smash sauce served in a toasted potato roll. Did it live up to the hype? I would say so, but it doesn’t beat that from their west London rival, Smash N’ Slide. The beef patties are smashed till thin, with lightly crispy edges and a deep dark crust over. It’s still got a bit of texture and mouthfeel – so not entirely smashed till sheet-thin. Without a doubt, it’s a great burger. But not the best yet as it wasn’t as juicy and could use an extra oomph and umami to really wow the palate.
The Nashville Burger (£9)
As much as the beef smash burger takes most of the spotlight, we do feel that the real stars are actually the chicken burgers at Chicos. One of them is this newly launched Nashville Chicken Burger, featuring buttermilk fried chicken thigh dipped in hot chilli oil and dusted with a Nashville spice mix, paired with cheese, slaw, pickles, and chipotle mayo in a toasted brioche bun.
Robust and piquant in flavour, the chicken was tantalisingly delicious and simply irresistible. Featuring a kick of spice, the flavours danced beautifully on the palate and it was so succulent to taste as well. It was crispy on the outside and incredibly juicy on the inside. Though I do have a criticism that the slaw was overpowering the cheese and I would have preferred the cheese to stand out more against the Nashville spice flavours.
Chicken Tikka Thigh Burger (£7.50)
Following our statement on chicken burgers being the star, it is no exception for this Chicken Tikka Burger. In fact, we felt it’s quite an underrated one as we really enjoyed the burger but don’t hear as much about it. The chicken tikka thigh fillet was well-marinated, topped with cheese, lettuce, cucumber, red onions & creamy mayo, and served in a toasted seeded brioche bun. Once again, the chicken thigh fillet was incredibly juicy and succulent to taste. Those rich and moreish flavours
We actually ordered double for this one and we would recommend sticking with just regular portion as it was just too much. Still, it’s indisputable that the chicken itself was great.
Chilli Loaded Fries (£4.50)
It visually may not seem the most appetising but these chilli-loaded fries were surprisingly enjoyable. They are richly topped with shredded chicken, mozzarella cheese, and their special house sauce. The chips could be crispier in my opinion but it’s not like they’re soggy or anything. When they say loaded fries, well, they are definitely very generously loaded. I can imagine that all their other loaded fries options are just as hefty in portion. We definitely recommend sharing if you are thinking of ordering one!
We also had their regular fries and peri fries from a previous visit and they were fairly standard.
Ferrero Rocher Milkshake (£5)
Last but not least, there’s no better comfort food combo than burger and milkshake. Chico’s menu offers a handful of flavour options, including Lotus Biscoff, Oreo, Kinder Bueno, and even Strawberry Bubblegum, etc. We opted for a Ferrero Rocher milkshake, which is the other half’s favourite flavour. The milkshake was creamy and decadent to taste. It was rich in chocolate and nicely laced with touches of hazelnut.
Restaurant Review Summary
Chicos Burger is a great spot for an unfussy easy meal if you are around the area. It wins on a menu that caters to everyone’s fast food cravings, whether it be burgers or flame-grilled chicken, and makes them with a comforting touch. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s rave-worthy, but for a no-frills burger spot, it’s pretty good and is definitely one of the top halal burger places in London.
All meats served are halal.
Nearest station: Aldgate East