I love fried chicken, but good fried chicken is hard to get and often associated with a) a drunken night out and b) that certain fast food chain. When Yard and Coop came to Manchester a couple of years ago it was time to embrace proper fried chicken.
Yard and Coop source red tractor assured farmed chicken and have spent a lot of time working on their menu. When I first visited many moons ago (just after opening) it was a very small menu that just mainly included fried chicken, different sides and that was about it. But in December 2016 the menu is definitely different and has evolved as the restaurant has.
When we arrived on this very busy Saturday in December we started with a round of drinks. This gave us time to peruse the menu, chat and rest as we’d just done a killer amount of Christmas shopping.
The Hardshake was wonderfully boozy, I’m not a giant milk shake fan, but in small amounts yes. My friend who ordered this is though and let’s just say it wasn’t around long!
I opted for a Rum cocktail (I can’t find the drinks menu to tell you 100% what I had). Jeez. This was not a starting cocktail at all. Oops! It was wonderfully blended so the edge was taken off the alcohol, but oh dear. Having not eaten since 8am and it was now 4pm… Luckily food was about to be ordered.
The best cocktail we tried, by a royal mile, was the Mo-Gin-To! A wonderfully refreshing gin twist to the mojito, that believe it or not is topped with an IPA. And you know what? It works. Try it and you’ll believe me!
Like I said previously the menu has changed a fair bit. Burgers and wraps feature a lot on it now, but the all important fried chicken is still the highlight and is slap bang in the middle of the menu. We stuck to what we know, the chicken (and fries). And in all honesty I’m glad we did!
The Boneless Chicken Thighs and Fried Chicken Breast were tender, with the most wonderfully crisp buttermilk batter. We picked pretty much every sauce off the menu, the stand outs were the Bourbon BBQ and the Bee’s Knees sauces, the Buffalo also had a great kick to it.
We also got the Monkey Balls, these are buttermilk fried chicken balls with BBQ sauce. We probably shouldn’t have ordered, as we were a bit chicken overboard at this point. But they were still pretty darn tasty. The other side we picked, or I should say me, the non-cheese hater, was the Not Chicken Nuggets. These are halloumi deep fried with a crumb coating and are amazing. I must demand that when you visit Yard and Coop, that you also order these. You will not be disappointed- and they are also the perfect veggie option!
Yard and Coop was banging! We were there on a busy Saturday evening, there were times when the service was slow. But the standard of the food and drink totally made up for this. The restaurant is quite large and with every cover taken of course it’s going to be mad. We were pretty chilled out though, a few cocktails whilst we waited and everything was brilliant. The waiting staff were friendly and apologetic so I had no issues here.
Have you visited Yard and Coop before? Are you a fried chicken or fried halloumi fan? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. Thanks to Yard and Coop for inviting us down. As ever all words, photos and opinions are my own.