We’ve all done it.
It’s a Friday night, you’ve gone out with the gang and carnage has ensued.
And then you see the sign, its neon lights illuminating the way like the star of Bethlehem – only instead of a stable, it guides you into Ken’s Fried Chicken
Two of your mates have fallen out, you snogged a close friend and you’ve definitely had one too many Jägerbombs.
You’re an idiot, and you know it as you stumble your way back home in a drunken stupor – alone of course, because that friend you kissed has no intention of going home with a blithering wreck like you.
And then you see the sign, its neon lights illuminating the way like the star of Bethlehem – only instead of a stable, it guides you into Ken’s Fried Chicken, in Commercial Road, Portsmouth.
It is a rite of passage for all students (and, yes, that was based on a true story) and being a 30 second walk from a nightclub puts it in a prime location.
Everyone has heard the horror stories about what happens in takeaways once the bars and clubs have kicked out.
But I haven’t come here to cause mischief.
It’s 7.30pm, I’m stone-cold sober and I’m here for the chicken.
First impressions as I walked in were, surprisingly, very good.
The shop is clean, almost glistening, which caught me off-guard.
There’s also an abundance of seating, so if you come here late at night with your inebriated mates – assuming you didn’t fall out at some point during the evening – there’s plenty of room to sit down and contemplate your disastrous life choices.
I bought a chicken fillet burger meal (£4.99), which came with a drink, and three chicken wings (£1.79).
The fact that all the drinks, except water, were in cans was slightly disappointing; I like to have a big drink with my meal, but that wasn’t an option.
Although there is plenty of seating, I was alone and walked home after picking up my food.
I was impressed to discover the food had not only survived the journey, but was still hot.
Let’s start with the chips which were, unfortunately, thoroughly disappointing.
Limp, soggy and lacking any flavour, they were certainly the worst part of the meal.
A reminder, to those who run chicken shops – you are the chef.
I shouldn’t have to put the seasoning on myself.
Thankfully, everything improved from that point on.
The chicken wings were absolutely incredible.
Both the chicken and the breadcrumbs were seasoned, and unlike some of the other chicken joints in the city, the wings weren’t greasy at all.
It’s a shame there wasn’t enough spice for my liking, but otherwise they were certainly up to scratch.
Even after slogging through the chips and eating the wings, the burger had stayed quite hot, which was pleasing.
There was a bit too much lettuce, but then anyone who loves a good meaty burger probably thinks vegetables are an unnecessary accompaniment.
The bun was well-toasted and the chicken was, once again, very good – and there was just about the right amount of mayo in there (other options are available if you are against mayo for some strange reason).
So there we have it – the refined taste buds of Dish Detective have sampled the delights of a takeaway and they haven’t been left wanting.
Don’t just visit at the end of a drunken night out though. This is good chicken, a great fast food joint.
Next time you finish work late and you’re too exhausted to cook, drive straight past the golden arches and swing by Ken’s instead.