Thursday, 7 November 2013

Le Coq, Islington

My favourite part of a roast dinner has always been the potatoes.  Never mashed.  Never boiled.  Always roasted, with a crispy golden outside, and a fluffy inside. 

At Le Coq, the focus is very much on the chicken.  It’s the only main course, lined up cooking on their rotisserie spits.  The chicken was perfectly cooked, with moist, flavoursome meat and crisp golden skin.

But you must not go and not order an extra side of their potatoes cooked in the rotisserie, which are therefore full of even more chicken-y flavour.  The chicken does come with a side – this week it was a tangle of soft, mellow fennel and nicely bitter cime di rapa (a type of broccoli).  They also serve it with a little jug or gravy and pot of tarragon mayonnaise, which was a lovely extra.

Along with the chicken as a main and the included side, it’s £17 for two courses or £22 for three, with two choices of starters and desserts that change weekly.  N and I both had the delicious duck salad to start, with bits of crunchy and leaves and duck skin, scattered with pomegranate.  The other option was skordalia, the Greek garlicky potato puree, with fried rings of butternut squash on top.

For the desserts there is always a tart and an ice-cream - we shared the honey, walnut and rum tart.  An alternative to the nutty, sticky pecan pie, with perfect short pastry.

It’s a relaxed room, and the service was great – they must get a little tired of explaining to everyone that walks through the door that it is chicken only.  They have kept it pared back at Le Coq, but it’s pulled off excellently.  It’s good value too – they use properly free range Sutton Hoo chickens, which makes all the difference.

(Closed Mondays, and no reservations)

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