When you say the name out loud, it sounds a wee bit naughty (wink wink), but “coq” in French is rooster. Or essentially, it’s just chicken to us normal folk. Le Coq specializes in rotisserie fare with spit roasted chicken as the main feature, with a weekly changing mix of meat and veggie options. I guess it would be predictable to say this is a posh Nandos, but in a way it is. Tasty healthily cooked chicken is its whole point. But of course it is miles better than Nandos and really ups the bar for chicken establishments.
You have three starters, three main courses and three desserts as your menu on various notices around the room. They throw in some side options for those with a hefty appetite, but the menu is well proportioned and filling. There is nothing worse than having too many options as it takes way too long to order, especially if everything is appealing. At this little Highbury Corner spot, you do suffer the same issue of wanting everything, but it is made easier by having a trio of options per course, so you eventually get there.
Sit down, watch the rotisserie rotate the chicken, as the skin browns and glistens. The meat stays moist and tender, and you are served a nice bit of leg and thigh. Fitore, my Sunday Islington dining partner, had just that. With some wilted greens and a creamy dip, she tucked in with eagerness. I went for the beef topside with wild mushroom, grilled peppers and veg. That was our main course, so to double back, for starters she had mussels in a creamy tomato sauce. I had blood orange, fennel and avocado. The menu changes every couple of weeks so when you hit them up, there will be new goodies to choose from.
This bit of Highbury Corner used to be a little bit of a dump, but Le Coq, Trullo and Firezza have brought a bit of class to this no mans land end of Upper Street. There is also some extensive work going on the roundabout to alleviate the smog filled traffic flow nearby. There are two things that will bring me back here. One, I love chicken and two, I like that every time I visit there will be something new. On a final note, there is not damage on the wallet either.
292 – 294 St Pauls Road
T. 020 7359 5055