Fried chicken and flirting with the UK’s biggest grime MCs

Amelia Dimoldenberg takes Croydon rapper Cadet on a Chicken Shop Date in the latest episode of her YouTube series

It’s Valentine’s Day soon – and for those of you in relationships, the stress is probably starting to hit. Where, in a city full of views, masseurs and romantic restaurants, should you choose to go? How can you realistically keep things original? Are surprises good? Candles? How much money do you need? Is any of it actually worth it? 

Fortunately, Fashion Journalism student Amelia Dimoldenberg – a connoisseur of both romance and the London fried chicken scene – has spent the last two years developing an online archive of dating tips. Her YouTube series, Chicken Shop Date, sees her interview some of the most exciting names in the UK’s grime and rap scene, taking them on dates to the capital’s finest fluorescent eateries (you can watch the latest episode, starring Croydon-born rapper Cadet, above). “The show combines fried chicken with flirting in a one of a kind interview format,” Dimoldenberg explains. “Whoever said romance is dead has never been on a date to Chicken Cottage.” We caught with her to find out more. 

What inspired you to start Chicken Shop Dates?

Amelia Dimoldenberg: I’d been single for my entire life. 

When and how did you first have the idea?

Amelia Dimoldenberg: I was 18 when I first started going on dates to chicken shops – never looked back since. I’ve always been a fan of music and a recent fan of romance so wanted to combine both. 

Why chicken shops, in particular?

Amelia Dimoldenberg: I chose chicken shops because I wanted to go somewhere you wouldn’t expect to be taken on a first date. The element of surprise, no man can resist it. They always have excellent lighting so you can see exactly what your date looks like, and the food too. Most of them have picturesque wall hangings, however the chicken shop that I went to with Cadet had glamour girls pinned up on the wall holding buckets of chicken which I could tell was quite distracting for both of us. 

“I was 18 when I first started going on dates to chicken shops – never looked back since. I’ve always been a fan of music and a recent fan of romance so wanted to combine both” – Amelia Dimoldenberg

How did you first get your guests to appear on the show? Was it difficult?

Amelia Dimoldenberg: I’m sure most girls can attest that getting any guy to go on a date is a very difficult process. Usually, I tweet potential dates until they reply to me. Sometimes slide to their DM’s if I get a follow back, although that is rare. I’m friends with AJ Tracey’s cousin Big Zuu, so that’s how I got that date. I met Big Narstie at Warehouse Project last year and asked him out. He took my email but I’m still waiting to hear back from him, he seemed pretty on it at the time. 

What’s been your favourite interview so far, and why?

Amelia Dimoldenberg: By interview I’m assuming you mean date. My favourite date was probably the one I went on with Ghetts mainly because he has a nice smile and very good teeth. I took Ghetts to Chicken Cottage in Farringdon where I’m now banned from for disturbing the customers. Interestingly Ghetts is not banned. Apparently, there was a queue down the road of people trying to get chicken. We shut the doors on them so we weren’t disturbed.

And your worst?

Amelia Dimoldenberg: The worst is probably Jammer because he was over an hour late. My chips went cold after the first 5 minutes of waiting, so the whole thing was rubbish. Logan Sama wasn’t that great either, he ordered a kebab which I thought was weird. He also spent about an hour explaining to me how a rap battle works, which was thrilling. 

Who would be your ideal chicken shop date?

Amelia Dimoldenberg: Abra Cadabra, J Hus, Mike Skinner and Drake. I’d like to take JME to the vegan chicken shop that just opened – not sure if they serve nuggets there so that may be an issue. 

What else are you working on at the moment?

Amelia Dimoldenberg: I’m working on my self-confidence and chat up lines. Oh, and finding chicken shops with central heating.

Watch more episodes on the Chicken Shop Date YouTube channel here.