A couple of weeks ago I made the executive (and arguably necessary) decision to go carb-free.
The reason? My decadent lifestyle of being a lazy lil bitch with a bad attitude who’s preferred activity is ordering countless Deliveroos and Just-Eats from the safety of a bed finally caught up with me. Over the course of the last year or so I’d managed to put on around a stone in weight.
While this is realistically fine and there are of course much, much bigger problems going on in the world, I decided that I wanted to do something about the sad, wistful feeling I felt whenever I struggled to fasten the clasps on my once-loose clothes.
So, with that in mind I stopped consuming any and all carbohydrates. This could also be referred to as the Keto diet.
I’m gonna break this down for you and deliver some cold, hard, facts that I (and pretty much all my friends) didn’t realise before starting this diet:
1) IF YOU ARE NOT EATING CARBS THEN YOU CANNOT EAT FRUIT.
Fruit is sugar, which is carbs. THIS INCLUDES FRUIT JUICE and, most heartbreaking of all THIS INCLUDES GREEN JUICE. GREEN JUICE IS A NO GO.
2) BUTTER IS FINE, CHEESE IS FINE, IN FACT ALL FATS ARE FINE. FAT IS GOOD.
Fat gets a bad rep, probably because people (like me not so long ago) think that fat filled foods are destined to make you fat. Not true, fat is good. In fact, low-carb and high-fat is a property of the Keto diet.
3) THE STUFF YOU THINK IS GOOD FOR YOU REALLY ISN’T THAT GOOD FOR.
Basically I’m bitter because if you’re not eating carbs, you can’t eat quinoa or any other type of grain (maybe this seems obvious but I thought quinoa was fine. It isn’t.)
The other thing that I must tell you is:
PSA: NOT EATING CARBS ISN’T EVEN THAT HARD OR MISERABLE.
Ok, so it’s not super, crazy fun and I have purposely been avoiding any kind of ‘food porn’ style Instagram/snack aisles at the supermarket. Buuut with that being said, it hasn’t been terrible. If you’re a person that enjoys food/cooking/eating as much as I do, then you could probably see how it’s been kind of fun to come up with various non-carb based recipes each night.
What I’ve eaten each night has varied from Ratatouille (I altered the original recipe by adding streaky bacon, which I really, truly, highly recommend) to egg fried cauliflower rice.
The egg fried cauliflower rice was so good that it potentially deserves a post of it’s own. The sun-dried tomato and mozzarella stuffed chicken I made was real good too.
There have been some dark moments – I’m not going to go into detail about the night last week where I ate an entire packet of prosciutto ham in one sitting – but once you get over the initial terrible craving for spaghetti or just a big brownie, then eventually it becomes pretty easy, you end up feeling thinner than you have in about a year AND your black &Other Stories dress you’d given up wearing magically fits again.
However, as gushing as this has been about the benefits of low-carb/no-carb, I’m only human. A human that lives for fried food, specifically fried chicken. So what does this mean? CHEAT DAY.
I booked a table at Chick ‘N Sours a week before going, and believe me when I say that I thought about it/talked about it all week long.
I’ve been once before and it was sooo good dude, but for some unknown reason I’ve never been back since. Literally no reason for it other than I always think Dalston seems so far away from me, but I’ve since moved house and it seems more within my grasp. (That is literally bullshit, I’m just incredibly lazy.)
Even though a new restaurant has just opened in Covent Garden, I booked a table at the Dalston branch – mostly because my friend works there.
I arrived at 7pm, sat down and tried my best to control myself and not order every last thing the menu had to offer. I ordered:
1 June Bug (a pineapple sour cocktail which was really, really, really good.)
1 Bitter Kentucky (my boyfriend ordered this, I’m really not a whisky fan but even I enjoyed this)
1 Bun (a HUGE korean fried chicken burger in a perfect brioche bun with asian slaw and hot sauce and gochujang mayo)
1 House Fry (fried drumstick and chicken thigh, seaweed crack and pickled watermelon. Not for me, for my boyfriend. Could’ve eaten this too though)
2 portions of dripping fries
1 portion of house pickles
1 portion of cinnamon bun dough ice cream
Ok let me tell you – EVERYTHING WAS SO GOOD. I WOULD LITERALLY GO THERE WEEKLY IF I COULD.
Before I start talking about the food I want to preface by saying that I am so sorry, I’m the worst food blogger ever: I only took one picture. Not even a good one. The trendy dim lighting coupled with my crazed need to eat everything on the table as soon as it was put down in front of me means that this is the one and only picture of the evening:
(the Bun, aka the best asian inspired fried chicken burger I ever did eat)
It’s my first post, the lighting was dark and I was drunk – please don’t close the tab.
The fried chicken skin (skin? coating?) is everything you want it to be and more, just the right amount of salty and peppery and crunchy. It was perfect. The actual chicken itself is so moist and pure and made me really happy.
You can really taste the beef dripping on the dripping fries, which I’ve found is not always the case in other places. Pickles are one of my No.1 favourite things in the whole world so to have a whole plate filled with various thinly sliced pickled vegetables was a real pleasure. They were good, just the right amount of sweet and sour.
I was a huuuuge fan of the pickled watermelon, although I didn’t try the seaweed crack which i’m pretty sad about. Next time though!
The cinnamon ice cream was the perfect consistency, really creamy and came with crunchy cinnamon bits on top. It also had miso butterscotch drizzled on top, which tasted kinda like the stuff they drizzle on cinnamon buns BUT BETTER.
My aforementioned friend who works at Chick N Sours (hi, Cal!) also took it upon himself to very kindly make sure we were never short of drinks, and so began a crazy, steady stream of sour cocktails being delivered to our table every time a drink was finished.
It was truly just a really nice added bonus on top of what would already have been the best eating experience I’ve had in a long time.
The cocktails were all realllly really great, the kind of drink you keep drinking and then suddenly you realise it’s 12pm the next day, you’re lying on the floor halfway between your bedroom and bathroom and you’ve got a £46 receipt from Uber on your phone.
In the best way possible.
So as i’m sure you can imagine: drunk person x person who hasn’t eaten carbs in 2 weeks + fried chicken = best night ever.
I absolutely super, mega implore you to go to Chick N Sours at the first chance you get. The food is really good, the menu is interesting and all the staff are really lovely. Make sure to book a table in advance because it gets craaaazy busy. There was a queue going outside the door when I was there. Booking is important.
But seriously, go. Go right now. Take a sick day from work if that’s what it takes. GO. THERE. NOW.
*This post was not sponsored by my friend Cal, Chick N Sours or the Keto Diet. But I wish it was.