The Coop: A Jamaican-influenced fried chicken joint opens in Takapuna

by Alex Blackwood / 02 October, 2018
Photography by Alex Blackwood.

Fried chicken is the hero at new Takapuna restaurant, The Coop.

The location of chef/owner Danny Simpson’s newly opened Takapuna restaurant, The Coop, was chosen for its proximity to the beach. By summer – which is happily just around the corner – the place will be packed with partially-sandy jandalled feet. But though the atmosphere is casual, this is a place for serious fried chicken enthusiasts.

There are eight different styles of Jamaican-influenced jerk fried chicken on the menu at The Coop, all available as boneless-skinless thighs or juicy wings. The chicken is available on its own, as part of a meal box, or in a Po’ boy sandwich; the tables are dotted with Kaitaia Fire, Franks and Nam Jim hot sauces to adjust the heat as you like. Conveniently, all the chicken is battered in chickpea flour so everything is gluten-free.

The Coop is Simpson’s first solo venture, though he’s earned his hospo stripes having previously worked at Kōkako, Miss Clawdy’s and Late Night Diner, among others. When The Coop gets its liquor licence, Simpson, originally from Glasgow, will import a range of Scottish whiskies to sit alongside beers specifically designed to drink with fried chicken, including The Coop’s own signature beer which is currently being workshopped. Also on the horizon are fried chicken ice creams – fried chicken with vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone – which sounds surprising but should be one of those salty and sweet flavour combinations that somehow work.

At the moment, the drinks menu consists of milkshakes and iced teas, both elevated by the addition of less-usual ingredients: The strawberry shake is topped with sherbet, the banana one includes popcorn and they’re all made in an old-fashioned metal milkshake maker. The Apple iced tea is not just apple flavoured, but spiced apple crumble flavoured.

Read more: 12 places to find great fried chicken in Auckland | Tell us your favourite Auckland places, people and things and win!

According to Simpson, the ingredients are all pretty simple. The idea is to keep The Coop’s price point down for the customer, with the interest coming from clever flavour combinations and texture play. The chimichurri fried chicken, for example, comes with fresh green herbs and lemon labneh, offering a lift from the inevitable chicken grease. The smokey chicken is coated in barbecue sauce, chopped peanuts and, of all things, orange marmalade. “Being British, I had to put some marmalade somewhere,” laughs Simpson.

The Coop
90 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna
@thecoopfriedchicken

Latest

Ditch the intergenerational housing blame game, and focus on some home truths
99836 2018-12-10 00:00:00Z Social issues

Ditch the intergenerational housing blame game, an…

by Virginia Larson

What we don’t need is sloppy statistics kindling an intergenerational stoush that does no one any good.

Read more
Sally Lewis: The modern-day monk teaching meditation to prisoners
100143 2018-12-10 00:00:00Z Profiles

Sally Lewis: The modern-day monk teaching meditati…

by Clare de Lore

Could an ancient form of meditation change the lives of prisoners for better? Sally Lewis says it can.

Read more
What's inside North & South's January 2019 issue?
99815 2018-12-10 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

What's inside North & South's January 2019 issue?

by North & South

We look at the riskiest places in NZ to live, what it'll take to fix the Family Court and review 2018's weirdest and wackiest things.

Read more
The Brexit deal is the perfect Prisoner's Dilemma
100059 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z World

The Brexit deal is the perfect Prisoner's Dilemma

by Andrew Anthony

In the Prisoner's Dilemma, going after what you want – freedom – might get you the very worst outcome. It's Brexit, in other words.

Read more
How Britain's MI6 gave the world modern spycraft
100061 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z Television

How Britain's MI6 gave the world modern spycraft

by Fiona Rae

Espionage nerd David Jason takes us inside the world of secret agents, including the inaugural MI6 boss’ car.

Read more
Louis Theroux grapples with his own failure in new Jimmy Savile doco
100072 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z Television

Louis Theroux grapples with his own failure in new…

by Diana Wichtel

A chastened Louis Theroux tries to shed light on a celebrity sex fiend's brazen cunning in a new documentary.

Read more
The extraordinary story of how New Zealand entered the space race
100028 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z Business

The extraordinary story of how New Zealand entered…

by Sally Blundell

Half a century after the first manned spacecraft orbited the moon, the space race is back on and New Zealand is in the game. But are we ready?

Read more
Quiet, please! The commodification of silence
97964 2018-12-09 00:00:00Z Travel

Quiet, please! The commodification of silence

by Margo White

The commodification of quiet – how silence became a top trend in wellness tourism.

Read more