Chicken, culture, & collabs: how Morley’s became a London icon

Chicken, culture, & collabs: how Morley’s became a London icon

by Ollie Cox
3 min

The humble chicken shop is a staple on British high streets and a familiar favourite cuisine for many. When it comes to the capital, particularly South of the river, one chicken shop reigns supreme. 

@morelysuk ©

Morley’s is a fast food chain based in the UK specialising in selling fried chicken, burgers and ribs, founded by Sri Lankan born Kannalingram “Indran” Selvendran in Sydenham. The Morley’s brand is synonymous with high streets across the capital and a last stand against the tyrannous gentrification of London’s high streets. 

Morley’s ©

After Kannalingram “Indran” Selvendran’s death in 2002, his son Shan Selvendran took over the business aiming to make it the largest chicken chain in the country. There are now branches in Shoreditch, Finsbury Park and Acton, above the river. There are also branches in the North East of England in Stockton and Hartlepool. 

@morleysuk ©

Despite its expansion, Morley’s is more than just a fast-food chain, extending its friendly customer service to all who walk through its doors, rewarding the brand with song-lyric shout-outs and positive press. 

In its 35-year history, the Morley’s has attracted a wealth of hungry diners, becoming a symbol of end-of-school freedom for kids and an open-all-hours pit stop for many more. One frequent customer is UK Grime artist Stormzy, whose appreciation of the cuisine has extended into his lyrics, first shouting out the chicken shop in his 2015 release, ‘Wicked Skeng Man 4’. 

@shaybomusic ©

Morley’s is for everyone, and even the biggest names in music can’t resist their cravings for crispiness. The internet’s favourite awkward interviewer, Amelia Dimoldenburg, regularly grills her guests in South London’s favourite chicken shop, ranging from Joy Crookes to Digga D and Jack Harlow, further pushing the chicken chain into the cultural zeitgeist. 

Recently Morley’s teamed up with Heinz to cook up the perfect hot sauce for its chicken. As part of the launch, Morley’s will be served at one of the capital’s coolest hotels, The Standard, launching on August 7th until September 3rd. 

@morleysuk ©

Morley’s ascension into the spotlight is a product of its ‘home away from home’ feeling that never misses; a warm hug in a box and a familiar sense of convenience and subsequent fullness that fuels its customers for greatness.

Highlights from its pop-up menu include popcorn chicken, and a cauliflower veggie alternative served with a selection of sauces. If you’re feeling fancy, why not try the chicken drumsticks with caviar.

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