Located in east London’s Hoxton Square is Cocotte, a sustainable farm-to-table rotisserie restaurant, offering a selection of locally and independently sourced chicken and vegetarian salads. With an ethos of serving Londoners food that is both healthy and comforting, I was visiting one of the two London-based venues (the other in Notting Hill) to put the spot to the test.
I’m a sucker for a floral display so was instantly drawn to the stylish row of vines hanging from one side of the dining rooms exposed-brick walls, while marble-topped tables and olive green seating also gave the restaurant a Mediterranean-esque feel sa decorative lights filled the room with a warm glow. I was a fan. And as the weather was still pretty warm? My trusty dinner companion and I decided to make the most of the al fresco terrace and soak up the last of summer, before it turns Baltic on us.
Starting our evening with a cocktail each, I chose the Cocotte Old Fashioned (£8.50) - smokey and strong as hell, the restaurant proved that you can't beat a classic done well, all while we mulled over their food menu.
Host to a unique, build-your-own format, Cocotte lets you customise every step of your meal. After picking between a quarter, half or whole serving of 24-hour marinated, slow roasted chicken, you're prompted to move on to a list of sauces, there to help you pick whichever toppings and flavours you want, all before picking from a selection of sides and salads to finish off the dish.
After mulling it over for a while we decided on half a free-range chicken (£12) to share, alongside small serving bowls of Cocotte gravy and garlic mayo sauces (£1 each). Tender, succulent and so well seasoned that we didn’t actually need the sauces - though I’m never going to turn down aioli - it’s the best chicken I’ve had in a long time. The roasted root veg and Cocotte ratatouille sides (£4.50 each) made great accompaniments to the meal and kept me coming back for more throughout the evening.
Uncertain of serving sizes, we also ordered the Fernande salad (£11) as a main to cover all bases. A holy mountain of creamy barley, pomegranate and feta deliciousness, it was the salad that broke this camel’s back - although I’d definitely recommend it as a great vegetarian option or if you’re fancying something a little lighter, though surprisingly filling.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Finally, with very merry - and full - stomachs, but only a slightly diminished salad, we were forced to admit defeat and request a doggy bag. And an uber.
Along with their welcoming atmosphere and friendly waiters, I’ve been won over by Cocotte's DIY menu, and varied veggie offerings - a refreshing change from the generic salad options available at most restaurants. Added bonus: my doggy-bagged salad tasted just as good the next day.