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Absurd Bird Exeter

Absurd Bird, Exeter Queen St

Reviewed by Tom Heathfield 

This past late-September week, I had the good fortune of joining the Devon Foodie for lunch at Absurd Bird, the newly opened Exeter food venue that specialises in the comfort food of the American South. But before I enter into the intricacies of our experience, I would like to inform you that the food and service were to a high standard, and that the venue itself – as well as being conveniently situated in the Guildhall Shopping Centre – is pleasantly furnished, giving the whole place an agreeably contemporary feel.

For our starter, my dining partner and I opted to share the spinach and artichoke dip with dried tortilla chips. This was a very good decision. The dip was delicious; we even requested the recipe in the hope that we might be able to replicate it to some extent at home. The tortilla chips themselves paired perfectly with the dip, though were perhaps a little oily. Nevertheless, I think that it would be difficult to find a starter nicer than this one.

For my main course, I chose the crispy fried chicken burger with barbecue sauce and coleslaw. The crispy chicken was fried excellently, and the accompanying sauce and coleslaw complimented the meat very well. Meanwhile, my dining partner went for the chicken and waffles with smoked sweet gravy and maple syrup. Although she found her portion a little generous, she did enjoy it. I was lucky enough to find myself the beneficiary of her excess food, and personally found it very tasty. However, I do feel that the portion size of the chicken and waffles dish is the cause of its £11 cost more than anything else. When it came to side dishes, we decided on the watermelon salad with feta cheese, candied nuts, and orange dressing, and the spicy sweet potato fries. Although we were initially unable to eat our sides (as we were already satisfied from our starters and mains) I was able to enjoy these later in the day while joined by my family, as Absurd Bird kindly gives diners the options to package their leftovers up and take them away. Because of our fullness, we declined desserts, however if you are wondering what sweet somethings are available then this link should satisfy your curiosity. Finally, though the restaurant offers a tempting selection of moonshine and speciality cocktails, our drinks were undeniably expensive, which may prove to be a disadvantage when you consider the value of Turtle Bay’s rum cocktails right next door…

Overall, I would say that our dining experience was a very positive one. The food and drink on offer was good, the service was friendly and the venue was unique and interesting. However, if you are thinking about eating out at Absurd Bird any time soon then my only advice would be to do so on an empty stomach. You’ll no doubt have a lovely meal, but you’ll most likely be bringing a doggy bag home!

www.absurdbird.com

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