Dot's Twin Setinstagram/@dotshotchicken

Dot’s Hot Chicken serves the increasingly popular style of Nashville Hot Chicken. It’s worth saying right away: if you don’t like spicy foods, you may as well stop reading now. Actually sourcing the chicken proved to be surprisingly complex, as Dot’s is only open Wednesday to Saturday (a piece of information they didn’t see fit to include on their Instagram), and it has no physical restaurant. Still, if you’re looking for a great take-out, Dot’s is up there with the best of them.

“It’s worth saying right away: if you don’t like spicy foods, you may as well stop reading now.”

The chicken is hot. As someone with a relatively solid heat tolerance, I found myself having to take sips of water whilst eating to keep my mouth from overheating. However, to consider Dot’s as only ‘hot’ chicken is to ignore all that is going on. The heat comes from a generous serving of Cayenne which, when paired with paprika in the seasoning, produces a real smokiness. The almost BBQ-esque taste is certainly unique for fried chicken. The crust is a deep brown, its dark hues promising and delivering a shatteringly crisp batter. After breaking through this crust, you encounter fantastically juicy chicken, largely thanks to the menu only serving brown meat. I would say that, of my thigh and drum, the thigh was probably better, as it has a less sinuous texture- the result being that the tender meat played off more effectively with the crust.

On its own, the chicken would probably be overwhelming. Luckily, it is offset with some milk bread. Milk bread is a Japanese bread which is in effect the Platonic ideal of white bread. Thick, pillowy, cut into perfect squares, and with a subtle milky-sweet flavour, its dense texture allows it to soak up the chicken juices, infusing it with a subtle heat. This sweet flavour acts as an effective counterbalance to the chicken, softening out the sometimes staggering heat.

“In the current climate, the food industry is under pressure like never before, and Dot’s is a truly local champion”

The second accompaniment to the chicken was Dots’ thick-cut pickles. These were what I’d describe as ‘sweet’ pickles; they were crinkle cut in a style which reminded me of the oven chips I used to have as a child. They were probably the weakest part of the experience for me, as they didn’t have the snap which I like in a good pickle. Additionally, the sweet flavour was mildly redundant, merely overlaying what you’re already getting with the sweet milk bread. The pickles would have been elevated if the subtle sour flavour they did possess had been brought to the forefront, so as to add another element to the dish.


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The chips reveal Dot’s enviable lineage. Anyone familiar with Steak and Honour will instantly recognize them as originating from the same source, as both share in the perfection of the crisp craft – long, crunchy, and with a light interior. Indeed, Dot’s is loosely related to Steak and Honour, being both founded by the same person, and based in the same location (though confusingly, if you’re to look on the Steak and Honour website, the existence of Dot’s is nowhere to be found). But this connection is worth talking about; in the current climate, the food industry is under pressure like never before, and Dot’s is a truly local champion. Its bread is sourced from the independent Grain Culture, and they rely upon the independent Foodstuff Cambridge for delivery. Food providers being local is not in itself a reason to eat somewhere, but when you combine this with its excellent chicken, I can’t recommend Dot’s highly enough.

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