Saturday, 14 June 2014

Le Coq – A Good Bird in Islington

The story goes somewhere along the lines of: the girl had an insane craving for chicken wings. The boy searched here, there and everywhere (google) for a great wings place. The boy found one. En-route to the wings shrine, the boy noticed the wings place doesn’t open on Sundays; in fact it may have closed permanently. The girl remembered a friend recommended Le Coq nearby. It may be the closest they could get to wings… (the wings search continues) 

The small rotisserie has an even smaller Sunday menu: 2 starters, 3 mains and 2 dessert options. 

Fontina & Comte Toastie with Pickled Radishes 
It’s a toastie, let’s not go overboard with description. It reminded me of Borough Market’s Kappacasein grilled cheese sandwich; must have been comte cheese. Nothing fancy, just simple and tasty. The pickles helped to lift the cheesy grease – pleasant touch. 

Bresola, Catalogna Scarolata & Preserved Lemon 
I’m not too much of an Italian cured meat fan. It was okay. 

Rotisserie Sutton Hoo Chicken with Roasted Fennel, Tomatoes & Picada 
I had the upper thigh and Mister kindly took care of the portion of chicken breast for me. It was a very good piece of chicken; the skin was well-seasoned, the meat succulent and tasted of chicken. I know it’s an odd thing to say, but as I have mentioned before, things don’t always taste like how they should nowadays. Most of the time, the meat doesn’t taste of anything; it’s only the excessively seasoning and sauces that artificially forces flavours on. Anyway, this was a good bird. 

The accompaniments were… not what it said on the menu. I can only assume they had run out of fennel and tomatoes and decided to put swede with chicken too. It wasn’t an issue, but it would have been nice if they had given me the heads up. The swede was thinly sliced and cooked with double cream, not unlike dauphinoise. It was rich and creamy at first, but quickly became too heavy on the stomach. 

The chicken gravy on the side was delicious and light, great to juice up the chicken breast. 

Rotisserie Pork Loin with Swede Jansson’s Temptation 
The pork was much less enjoyable. I don’t usually go for pork when eating out, unless it’s an Atherton restaurant and even his kitchen gets it on the drier side sometimes. It wasn’t disastrous, but it had that grainy texture as the meat juice had leaked out of the loin and took a lot of dousing in the gravy, which was where most of the flavours came from. 

Definitely stick to the chicken. 

Rotisserie Potatoes 
The aioli was thick and luscious, perfect with these crispy-edged, fluffy roasted potatoes. 

Hazelnut Ice Cream 

It would have been very easy to dislike Le Coq, given how I was so geared up for a wings challenge, a roast chicken was hardly going to do the job. That said I quite enjoyed it. No it didn’t quite curb my craving for fat, plump chicken wings, ideally in volumes, but I wasn’t too dissatisfied. The chicken itself was a good quality bird, the gravy was a concentration of all the greatness from the roasting, the pork wasn’t worth mentioning, but the swede temptation was a rich and comforting compote (in moderation). It’s not the kind of place I would make a special trip to, but if I was in the neighbourhood, I’d definitely pop in for some honest roast chicken. 

292-294 St Paul’s Road 
London 
N1 2LH 
Tel: 0207 359 5055

Le Coq on Urbanspoon
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