Hatchery Hosts Bird On A Wire: Socially Responsible Rotisserie Chicken

The Hatchery are back at it, this time bringing in Bird on a Wire from New Zealand. This is a restaurant which is passionate about spreading the word regarding sustainable farming practices, especially those towards poultry, the focus here is on rotisserie chicken and the Hatchery have been excited about hosting their Beijing incubator for a while!

A successful brand with three restaurants in New Zealand, Bird On a Wire has developed a strong local following by making delicious handmade takeaways and meals with free-range chicken, that are nutritionally and ethically guilt-free. Bird on a Wire “believes in delicious food that nourishes our bodies” and their mission is to “feed the world better food”.

Whilst free-range chicken has not yet become mainstream in China, BOAW and Hatchery are passionate about the potential education and leadership opportunities to promote more ethically-sourced chicken. “Ultimately it’s about giving our customer the confidence they are eating the safest, tastiest and best cared for chicken in town,” remarked BOAW’s Ben Grant. “If we can help China progress in their ethically-sourced food journey and share some of our knowledge from New Zealand, that’s a big tick in our books for our international strategy.”

At Hatchery, they are serving a premium breed of chicken called Red label Yellow Chickens that initially came from France and are raised free range just outside of Shanghai in peach and plum tree fields. 100% hormone, steroid and antibiotic free, their “chooks” eat exclusively natural grains and drink filtered water.

While the rotisserie chicken is the main focus on the menu, they also have a range of chicken wraps, chicken burgers (their Bahn Mi Burger sounds amazing with lemongrass and tumeric chicken thigh, pâté, pickled cucumber and carrot and chili for RMB 65), chicken noodle soup, chicken schnitzel, chicken sides and a few non-chicken items including pasta, fish & chips, crispy tofu and a handful of salads. I was even surprised to see some Chinese inspiration on the menu with a cold appetizer of Garlic & Chili Chicken Feet (RMB 30) and sticky and spicy Cola Chicken Neck (RMB 30).

As we were a table of two, we ordered the recommended set that normally comes with a half chicken, salad, fries and house-made baste (aka sauce), but we wanted to sample more salad varieties so they were happy to swap out our fries for a second salad.

In addition to the set, we got to try out a few other sides and sweets, covering a decent swathe of the menu. Feast your eyes below:

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: Chicken Croquettes with Creamy Chicken, Potato & Fresh Herbs (RMB 45)

Chicken Croquettes with Creamy Chicken, Potato & Fresh Herbs (RMB 45)

Tasty little chicken croquettes, they come hot so you might want to wait a bit before popping the whole croquette in your mouth. Better yet, break them apart to help them cool down faster. Crispy on the outside with a creamy inside, these make for a delicious starter that’s satisfying and easy to share.

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: Chicken Croquettes Disected

Croquettes Disected

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: Fragrant Chicken Broth (from the Chicken Noodle Soup RMB 35)

A Sample of their Fragrant Chicken Broth from the Chicken Noodle Soup  (RMB 35)

Missing: Egg Noodles, Jie Lan Greens and you can add pulled chicken for +RMB 20

Rich in chicken-y flavor, this is no Campbell’s Chicken Soup – this is the real stuff. We didn’t want to fill up on the noodles, so we just asked to sample a small portion of the broth to taste and it was ace. Quality and on point.

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: Ponzu Salad with Red Cabbage, White Cabbage, Carrot, Coriander, Sesame Seeds, Ponzu Dressing (RMB 35)

Ponzu Salad with Red Cabbage, White Cabbage, Carrot, Coriander, Sesame Seeds, Ponzu Dressing (RMB 35)

The accompanying salads were a mixed bag. We really liked the ponzu coleslaw which had a lovely citrus kick to it, but the cauliflower chickpea salad was really heavy for a salad while being underwhelming in taste. Both salads were substantial in size, a very generous portion! Note that they plan to rotate their salads quite regularly (every 2-3 weeks).

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: Cauliflower & Chickpea Bulgur Salad (RMB 35)

Cauliflower & Chickpea Bulgur Salad (RMB 35) 

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: Crispy Tofu Meal with Sesame Greens, Ginger Chilli Sauce, Pickled Cucumber and Steamed Rice (RMB 55)

Crispy Tofu Meal with Sesame Greens, Ginger Chilli Sauce, Pickled Cucumber and Steamed Rice (RMB 55)

We weren’t planning to come to a chicken restaurant and order a tofu dish, but it came highly recommended, so we gave it a go. Surprisingly good, I feel like I have experienced a lot of innovation with tofu lately and it really goes to show that tofu is absolutely not a “boring” food. Rather, I believe it comes down to how well the chef understands how to work with it and how he/she decides to mould it. Crispy, with a tangy accompanying sauce, it is like a chicken nugget substitute!

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: 1/2 Chook Rotisserie (RMB 100)

The Star of the Show – 1/2 Chook Rotisserie (RMB 100)

There she is – the smokin’, succulent rotisserie chicken itself in all her glory. Crispy skin with juicy, tender meat, what more can you ask for?

I used to always avoid ordering chicken in restaurants growing up in California because it was guaranteed to be bland, tasteless chicken breast accompanied by a equally bland gravy sauce. Bird On A Wire could teach all those restaurants a thing or two about how to properly cook chicken. This is how chicken ought to be. The Hatchery mentioned that they currently offer take-away and will soon be getting these menu items up and running on delivery platforms in the next few weeks, which would be pretty awesome to be able to come home after a long day at work and chow down on this. I just hope that the chicken can survive the time it takes to deliver to my door!

Depending on how many are in your dining party, you can order a quarter (RMB 55), half (RMB 100, or whole chock (RMB 190). A half portion was a good size to share between two so a whole chock should be for 3-4 pax depending on how many additional sides and salads you also plan to share.

The chicken sets come with 6 house-made baste (aka sauce) options. Each order of chicken comes with one to drench all over your plate, but we asked if we could try two. We went for the Korean BBQ and the confit garlic, herb and lemon. The BBQ was stellar, unfortunately the same can’t be said for the garlic which was not nearly as garlic-y as we had hoped. I wanted a much bigger kick and it just wasn’t there. The weaker of the two sauces, we still poured the confit garlic on the chicken, but the Korean BBQ sauce was really the only flavor that left a lasting impression.

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: House-made Baste: Confit Garlic, Herb & Lemon + Korean BBQ

House-made Baste: Confit Garlic, Herb & Lemon + Korean BBQ

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: New Zealand Zeffer Ginger Beer (RMB 60)

New Zealand Zeffer Ginger Beer (RMB 60)

A nice surprise to find Ginger Beer (RMB 60) on their drinks menu! By New Zealand brand Zeffer, this is a natural alcoholic ginger beer made from freshly fermented ginger root on an apple base with infused Kawakawa leaves, a native New Zealand tree spice. Such a treat! I wish more restaurants in Beijing carried ginger beers.

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: Lemon Cheesecake Popsicle with Biscuit Crumb Coating (RMB 15 each)

Lemon Cheesecake Popsicle with Biscuit Crumb Coating (RMB 15 each)

Finally the desserts. We got a brownie and two of the cheesecake pops. These are both really indulgent and rich. The cheesecake was creamy with a sharp tartness from the lemon. And the chocolate brownie was gooey and every bit as chocolate-y as brownies should be. In hindsight, ordering 2 was probably a bit ambitious, but rest assured, we polished off both plates.

The Hatchery's Bird on Wire: Rich, Dark Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream (RMB 35)

Rich, Dark Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream (RMB 35)

Overall, it’s a much more ambitious pop-up menu than I expected. There’s a lot more variety than just rotisserie chicken so I’m confident that there will be something unique and memorable for everyone.

The Hatchery is also offering a discount of 10% off all takeaway orders at Bird On a Wire between now and August 31st. A great option to host friends at home and not stress about having enough time to roast your own chicken.

As the Hatchery will continue rotating through different culinary concepts, don’t let this one pass you by. It’s not only tasty, it comes with an important message!

The Hatchery

The Hatchery's Bird On A Wire

Contact Details for the Hatchery:

  • Address: One street south of Subway Stop for Zhangzi Zhonglu (southeast corner), 88 Dongsi Jiutiao, 5L Meet
  • 地址:东城区东四九条88号5LMeet
  • Tel: +86 010 8950 8065
  • Hours: 8AM-10:30PM
  • Email: jj@hatchery.asia
  • Website: www.hatchery.asia/

About Kristen
Kristen Lum has an accomplished background in PR, communications and events in China. Born and raised in California, Kristen has been based in Beijing since 2006 and is founder of the lifestyle blog called LumDimSum, covering mostly restaurant news and reviews alongside upcoming events around town that relate to Beijing’s muti-faceted, quickly-developing creative industries like art, music, film, health and fitness, fashion, nightlife, charity events, and travel tips.


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