New? Cocotte, the “healthy rotisserie” opened in February by a group of friends from Paris.
Where? 95 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W2 4UW www.mycocotte.uk
On the Menu: Chicken. Free-range from a farm in La Chapelle d’Andaine in France, the chicken is marinated for 24-hours in a secret recipe of herbs and spices and available simply by quarter, half or whole, but sharing is the way to go. A concise selection of sides (roasted baby potatoes, mash or mac and cheese) is trumped by the imaginative list of salads, available as mains or sides.
First Impressions: Cocotte makes a welcome destination after the seemingly endless number of falafel and mezze restaurants you pass on the walk from the station.
The Look: The restaurant is small and cosy with wooden clad walls, exposed brick and a big bar area with hanging lights and plants. We loved the flamingo wallpaper in the loos too.
What We Ate: Between two we shared 1/2 chicken – not at all dry and with the most perfectly chargrilled, salty skin it was delicious. 7 different sauces are available but we followed the waiter’s recommendation and went for garlic mayo, spicy and the green sauce which were equally well-matched to the chicken. Our favourite salad was the Fernande; barley, pomegranate, feta and spring onions, the portion was generous and one side of this would’ve been enough. For reviewing purposes though we also had the mac and cheese – a very rich, strong flavour in a creamy cheese sauce it was served slightly crisp on the top in the mini pan it was cooked in.
What We Drank: Cocktails and predominantly French wines are available – we had a glass of 2012 Chateau la Verriere.
Go With: A date – girls feel healthy and guys feel like they’re getting their daily protein intake. But avoid the pungent mac and cheese and the garlic mayo.
Final Word: Riding on the wave of upmarket chicken restaurants recently opened in London, Cocotte leads the way. Packed on the Thursday night we visited, I can imagine it’s like that most evenings. If I lived nearby I’d happily get takeaway multiple times a week, or swing by when I couldn’t be bothered to cook. A great addition to Notting Hill.