Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bantam & Biddy - Opening Review

I made it over to Shaun Doty's latest venture last night - Bantam & Biddy. Batnam & Biddy is a rotisserie (humanely and healthily raised) chicken concept in the Ansley Mall shopping center. It just opened this week, so I realize that a good bit of my complaints may be ironed out in the coming days but I left extremely unimpressed and disappointed.

I love me some rotisserie chicken so the menu reads like a great fast casual concept. There are some holdovers from Shaun's - duck fat fries, pork schnitzel and a couple of the sides but the focus seems to be on the chicken. You can order a quarter or half chicken with two sides, like your standard meat and three, or choose from a handful of entrees. 
Not being able to resist poutine, we got an order to start out the meal. Poutine is hard to mess up and this rendition was delicious, as expected. By the way, if you haven't had Fry Guy's poutine, I'd go as far as to say it's the best in the city.
We also went with the 1/4 chicken and the Chicken Penne. The rotisserie chicken was drab. There was no color or texture to the skin, much of the fat hadn't been rendered and the chicken was essentially flavorless. 
Lifeless Chicken Skin
The mac and cheese side was reminiscent of Mary Mac's version and that's not a compliment. It was completely separated with a puddle of grease at the bottom and no creamy, rich component. It was more crumbly than anything. The pickled beats and goat cheese were an excellent side, however I'd highly recommend it as an option. There was also a slice of jalapeño and cheddar (?) bread which was a welcome improvement to the typical white slice.
The "Rotisserie Chicken Penne Pasta" was also a let down. While the flavoring of the dish was good and the pasta was cooked well, there was virtually no chicken in the dish - literally about three pieces. 

As mentioned prior, I realize this is the opening week and they could easily tweak a few things and have some more successful food. It's with this review that I hope they do, because I do like the menu and concept. Kins summed it up best after we finished, "This is all stuff we could make at home, but better."
Bantam & Biddy on Urbanspoon

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