Wholesome chicken dinners are few and far between once you’ve moved out of the family home, especially when your culinary skills barely stretch to a dish that requires more than five ingredients. That’s why a trip to Notting Hill for some quality comfort food was just what I needed after a long week, and let me tell you, if you’ve somehow convinced yourself that the best roast chicken you’re ever likely to eat is from your own kitchen, I dare you to say that with a straight face after visiting Cocotte.
These rotisserie pros are blowing anything you could rustle up on a Sunday afternoon out the water with their poultry-based menu, featuring crowd pleasing bites from halloumi sticks (£6.50) to spinach and goat cheese croquettes (£4.50) plus a range of hearty salads, and starring their 24 hour-marinated free-range chicken. Anticipating the main course to be quite the feast, we went in all guns blazing and skipped the starters, going straight for the half chicken (£12) to share.
All the care taken over preparing the birds is clear from the get-go, from letting them spend a day sat in a secret blend of herbs and spices, to having them take a spin on the spit roast after they’ve slow cooked to lock in the flavour, crisp up the skin and give them an unmatched succulence.
Our first instinct was to douse the carnivorous platter in the gravy temptingly steaming away on the side, but to find out whether the chicken could hold its own we took our first forkful without dressing it up with any of the accompaniments. Our cutlery sunk into the meat once it had made its way past the crispy skin, pulling off the bone effortlessly.
Served seperately, it wasn’t long before we were piling our plates with mashed potato, ratatouille, fries and roasted root veg (all £4.50). Once we’d constructed our perfect plate it was time to get the sauces involved. We were faced with mini pots of garlic mayo, tarragon mustard, a slightly spicy orange sauce and of course, their house gravy (all £1). All of the components were well-seasoned, flavourful and worked together to make a simple plate of food something that resembles restaurant-quality home cooking at its finest.
Save room for dessert? You bet we didn’t. Did we order dessert anyway? You bet we did. A humble slice of chocolate tart (£6.50) soon arrived at the table after being assured that we couldn’t leave without trying it, and they weren’t wrong. It was a delightful balance of rich, nutty and sweet, and instantly made us wish we had enough room in our stomachs to be able to consume a slice each, but alas one to share was enough this time around.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Cocotte’s fuss-free menu is a prime example of simple food done right, full of filling, affordable grub that you can really dive into. The farm-to table chickens served as a tasty blank canvas for the sauces and sides, earning its title as one of the hidden gems of London’s casual dining scene.
For more of the best spots for chicken in London, check out our guide here.