Nick Mosley meets Jamie O’Mara, Howard Kaye and Matthew Dimmack from The Bok Shop – the latest addition to East Street’s burgeoning food scene.
What’s the concept for The Bok Shop?
The drive to open The Bok Shop was fuelled by the lack of good British fried chicken and chips in Brighton. We’re originally from London where we had really good local chicken shops but those were replaced with substandard and terrible fried chicken shops here in Brighton. You won’t find gimmicky menu items at The Bok Shop but you will find good old London fried chicken, chips, gravy and mash. All with our own twist.
Why East Street as a location?
We chose Brighton because it is our home. We’ve lived here for 10 years with a serious lack of good fried chicken. At least now we don’t have to drive all the way to Streatham High Street to get good chicken.
Originally The Bok Shop was a concept for a takeaway fried chicken shop. However we decided to evolve the concept into a restaurant. We know the previous owners of the site quite well so jumped at the chance once the place was up for grabs. East Street is a great central location with good footfall. With the intention of making The Bok Shop a destination venue and the amount of footfall through East Street, we saw an opportunity we couldn’t let slip.
Are you trained chefs or did you decide to open a restaurant through a love of food?
We are definitely not trained chefs. We just love fried chicken.
You are very design-led, how does the food live up to the image?
The food is undoubtedly the engine and the backbone of the whole concept. If the food did not live up to the image we quite simply wouldn’t be open. There are no smoke and mirrors here we assure you. We have been working with an extremely dedicated and talented chef and food consultant; Adam Shepherd from Nura Food Concepts. He has been working closely with us for going on 12 months now. He has developed the whole menu from scratch. We’ve been through countless tasting sessions and focus groups to get this perfect in our eyes. And as a result, Adam will forever hold a special place in our hearts for creating the best fried chicken we’ve ever tasted in our entire lives.
Tell us about some of the dishes on the menu…
I guess the core of that is the chicken pieces. They are brined for eight hours, slapped in buttermilk, coated in a blend of spices, buttermilked again, coated again and then sunk into the fryer. We serve thighs, breast and legs. We currently have four burgers on our menu. Each one is made with boneless thigh fillets and sandwiched in a brioche/crusty bun. In our opinion the best dish on the menu is our Classic with cheese.
We also have a vegan and veggie element to our menu and concept. 95% of our menu has a vegan alternative. We set Adam the goal of the vegan and veggie option being just as tasty as the chicken options.
Are there any promotions you’re running in September that readers can take advantage of?
We will be running Wings Wednesday throughout September and the rest of time itself. £12 all you can eat hot wings every Wednesday from 6pm – firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
The Bok Shop is open from noon – 11pm daily at 3-4 East Street, Brighton BN1 1HP