Lunch at Cocotte, Westbourne Grove

12:15

With all my bleatings on of being vegetarian, you may be surprised by today's choice of location. Cocotte is an elegant, casual-dining chicken restaurant inspired by classic French-style rotisserie chicken. But, that's not to say that it doesn't cater to us veggies too. I popped down on my birthday no less for a real treat of a meal that balanced indulgent cheesy mac 'n' cheese with fresh, vibrant salads.
"Run by a group of friends originally from Paris, Cocotte Rotisserie is inspired by the popular establishments in the French capital that offer healthy, delicious chicken dishes available for delivery or takeaway."
For those choosing to eat meat, you begin with our choice of chicken size: 1/4, 1/2 or full. Seems simple; but from here it's a choice of sauces. Each homemade, expertly balanced by Head Chef Romain (previously of Michelin-starred Villa Lauraine (1*) and Le Chalet de la Foret (2*)) and perfectly paired with the soft chicken meat, the choice is a difficult one. Luckily, our waitress advised trying a selection of all six sauces including: garlic mayo, BBQ, Cocotte mustard, chicken gravy, spicy ketchup, nutty green sauce and truffle mayo. I personally found the mustard sauce very, very strong and actually inedible (I am no fan of mustard), but my guest confirmed that when paired with the rich chicken gravy, it actually worked quite well adding a piquant bitter-sour flavour to the rich jus. The garlic and truffle mayos were particularly favourable with distinctive garlic/truffle flavours. I also loved the green sauce when dipped into the side of roasted root veggies - sweet potato, butternut squash and carrots - which gave a beautiful sunshine quality to our table.

As for the chicken itself, my guest attested to the soft, buttery-like texture of the meat and the crispness of the skin which only comes with rotisserie cooking. The pepper-topped skin was particularly enjoyable being as my guest usually discards this part of the bird. 
But of course, you're all wondering how Mrs Veggie got on!? Even if you're not, I'm going to tell you anyway. Despite the heavy reminders of chicken peppered everywhere around the restaurant (from the wallpaper to the glass-fronted rotisserie to the little figurines we spotted here and there), I actually felt rather well catered to. The focus remains on healthier options with six different salads that can be easily customised with chicken, quinoa, feta, avocado, Parmesan, baby tomatoes, croutons, seeds and spring onions.

I chose to go with the rainbow-style Fernande salad with barley, pomegranate, feta cheese, baby salad and spring onions. It also came topped with sliced pink radish and a gentle salad dressing. I paired with dominantly salty-flavoured salad with my favourite foodie indulgence: mac 'n' cheese. At Cocotte, mac 'n' cheese gets an even more delicious upgrade with the inclusion of shaved truffle and a drizzle of truffle oil. Baked on top for a crisp finish, and gooey soft in the middle there's very little not to love about this bowl of pure joy. Now this is balanced eating; salad in one bowl, mac 'n' cheese in the other.


In conclusion, Cocotte is a lovely, lovely spot in West London for a healthy lunch or indulgent supper - simply add more side dishes with classic ratatouille or roasted baby potatoes. Whole chickens are ideally shared with the table while those avoiding the meat able to delight in a variety of fresh salads. And, there's more! Cocotte is opening is second venue a little closer to home later this month. More details will be revealed soon, so keep an eye on my Insta-stories to see what the fuss is all about.

Thank you Cocotte for hosting this review. All opinions, as ever, are my own. 


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