Indie Chicken

#4 Ken’s Fried Chicken, Albert Road, Southsea

For Southsea residents post-pub scran and name Ken are synonymous. Two Ken’s Kebabs outlets await the drunk and peckish in the town’s main imbibing quarters while satellite vans tempt those staggering home via quieter thoroughfares. Kebabs, burgers and Speedy Pizzas are the order of the day and they are, on the whole, pretty good. Ken’sFC is the most recent addition to the empire. Clearly marked by its cheeky white on red Colonel-baiting sign, it stands bang in the middle of studentville, within easy falling-over distance of at least three pubs.

On to the menu: in addition to the usual legs, thighs and wings, Ken’s also offers the non trademark-violating delights of the ‘Kinger Burger’ and ‘Popin’ Chicken’ for your off-the-bone needs. After enjoying the luxury of cheapo London outlets, the pricing in the competition-free provincial equivalent is a bit of a shock: the cheapest box meal (2 bits of chicken, chips and a canned drink) comes in at ‘3.29. Oddly, none of the box meals include hotwings for a bit of spicy variety.

I bought a 2-piece meal (salt and lemony moist towelette included – hurrah!) and charged home to tuck in. The first thing I noticed was that the chicken, while tasty enough, seemed to have been somewhat underfed during its short life. Once the enjoyably greasy coating had been gobbled, there wasn’t an awful lot left to work on. The chips were freshly done, crispy and thick enough to contain a semblance of vegetable matter. I was left satisfied but with the usual guilt that comes with eating this sort of filth while sober.

Nothing remarkable then, but with their location and locked-in market of drunk, unfussy students, they don’t really need to try.