What: The fifth London location for neighbourhood-style, French rotisserie brand Cocotte, which, as you can probably guess, specialises in a menu of rotisserie chicken that's marinated for 24 hours in a 'secret blend' of herbs and spices before being cooked slowly on the spit. All five restaurants use free-range birds sourced from a farm in Evron, in the Pays de la Loire region of France.
Who: Cocotte was founded by a group of Parisian friends, but is now primarily led by chef Romain Bourrillon, whose CV includes a stint at the Michelin-starred Villa Lauraine in Belgium. He's also spent time cooking at restaurants in France and New York. Cocotte launched its first restaurant in Notting Hill in 2016, and has since gone on to also establish locations in Shoreditch, Parsons Green, and Queen’s Park.
The vibe: The South Kensington restaurant is decorated with foliage, natural materials and earthy colours to 'provide a comfortable and stylish backdrop'. It's a bright and spacious site, with around 40 covers across the main dining area and some limited outdoor seating at the front.
The food: The 'unashamedly French-influenced' menu includes starters of foie gras and mushroom croquettes; chicken soup made to a family recipe; a cheese plate with Abondance, reblochon, bleu d’auvergne, and crottin traiteur; and a charcuterie board with ham, saucisson and coppa. The star of the show, though, is the rotisserie chicken, which can be ordered as a quarter, half or whole. A range of salads are available to order either to have alongside the chicken or as larger, individual mains, with options such as kale, roasted pepper and pumpkin salad and a walnut and tahini dressing; quinoa tabbouleh with pomegranate, red onion, parsley, mint, chives and a lemony dressing; and pureed aubergine with garlic, onion, peanuts, garnished with pomegranate, mixed seeds, coriander and a chilli dressing. There is also a range of classic sides including creamed spinach; truffle mash; roasted root vegetables; and truffled mac ’n’ cheese. Everything served at Cocotte is made on site from scratch, using fresh, farm-grown ingredients, from the sauces, to salads and marinades, and prices are reasonable across the board. A whole chicken to share between four comes in at £22; starters are primarily pitched around the £5 to £6 mark; and salads range from £4.50 for smaller portions to £11 for larger plates. Alongside the all-day menu, separate brunch and lunch offerings are also available.
And another thing: Bourrillion has had his eye on opening Cocotte in South Kensington 'since day one', having lived in the area for a number of years. Cocotte's growth across the capital has been steady, but it's clear the business has been designed with scalability in mind. The group has previously dabbled with dark kitchens, having previously operated sites in Islington and Battersea. However, it would appear that growing the restaurant estate is now the key focus.
11 Harrington Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 3ES