Image credit: Absurd Bird
Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’), confirmed yesterday (Thursday 21 April 2016) that a new Southern US inspired gourmet chicken brand, Absurd Bird, will be the eighth restaurant, completing the line up at Exeter’s exciting new Queen St dining quarter.
With their restaurant in London’s Spitalfields opening just last month and another branch opening in Soho very soon, Exeter has been selected by Absurd Bird for the opening of their first restaurant outside the capital. For Aviva Investors, signing up Absurd Bird marks a culinary milestone for Exeter’s Queen St dining, the final name to be announced in this £12m redevelopment.
Describing themselves as ‘Chicken by Birth, Crazy by Nature’, Absurd Bird has been three years in the making and the brainchild of a whimsical entrepreneur and dedicated foodie, the attention to detail is both extraordinary and highly impressive. Absurd Bird crashed in to the London scene with a wholly encompassing brand philosophy: celebrate difference by celebrating the absurd. The food itself is like the ambience that accompanies it, modern yet nostalgic, sophisticated yet humble, comfortable yet innovative.
Combining the talents of a renowned fine dining chef with the creativity of a wildly imaginative global restaurateur and a team of world-class operational management. With traditional free range, slow farm rearing specialist Fosse Meadows Farm as their suppliers, Absurd Bird use Cotswold White and Cotswold Gold chickens, all smoked on site at Queen St dining.
The food promises to startle: whole spatch-cocked smoked chicken which is hot smoked in house or the crispy, fried chicken on a waffle – marinated overnight in buttermilk is all they would tell us. Simon Green, Director of Aviva Investors said: “Aviva Investors is delighted to be able to announce Absurd Bird as the final name in the Queen St dining line-up. They have made quite an impact in London, generating a lot of excitement among the capital’s diners. Absurd Bird will be taking just under 4000 sq. ft of Queen St dining across restaurant, bar and outside seating space. We are really thrilled to have them on board, complimenting the mix of exciting eateries we have already announced.”
Not just Chicken!
Exeter will be introduced to “jalapeno cheese biscuits”, “hurricane popcorn”, “corn bread pudding” and “sweet potato marshmallow bake”. Then to follow there’s “orange honey coleslaw”, “crack pie” or for adults only, “dipsy cake”! The drinks are of the highest quality thanks to a partnership with expert mixologists, Soul Shakers. Moonshine is making a comeback at The Absurd Bird Bar, a chic area located beneath the restaurant.
Mark Hall from Absurd Bird said: “We were very keen to bring Absurd outside of London, where we think there is an opportunity in the market for our brand. Exeter was always a city on our radar, with a vibrant heart to the city centre, and a great demographic to enjoy our offer. We were also knocked out by the fantastic development of Queen St dining, and the opportunity to be part of something brand new.”
Absurd Bird complete the Queen St dining line up joining Comptoir Libanais, Turtle Bay, The Stable, Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), The Terrace, Grillstock and KuPP. With all the top quality food and drink operators who will be taking up Queen St dining’s fixed outlets now made public, Aviva’s vision to create ‘the place’ to eat, drink and socialise in Exeter, day or night, will move in to the next stage as each individual restaurant begins to shape.
Over the coming months, there are a number of exciting initiatives still to be revealed, which will allow Exeter residents to get involved in the city’s emerging dining quarter. Queen St dining will be fully open by the end of August, complete with all the new open air spaces which have been especially redesigned for markets, entertainment and other food events to complement the exciting wide range of restaurants, bars and cafes.
The Queen St project is seeing the Guildhall Shopping Centre’s neo-classical façade on Queen Street transformed, a new entrance from the high street is underway and the three public spaces within the centre itself are being re-invented: Market Square, bordered by amphitheatre-style seating areas, St Pancras Square overlooking the beautiful 13th-Century St Pancras Church and Goldsmith Square, making them all more welcoming and attractive to shoppers and diners alike.