I tried getting in to the soft-launch but as expected we were told there would be a long wait for a table so bailed in favour of Le Mercury on Upper Street. I’d borrowed a friend’s GoPro chest strap for a week of falling down mountains in the French alps and he wanted it back, so we met up on a Friday night to have a catch up, some beer and food. He lives out in the sticks near Brighton so I showed him a couple of my favourite local pubs, The Earl of Essex and The Taproom before heading to Le Coq Islington for dinner.
The ambiance is relaxed with communal. The rotisserie is on full display and you’ll see a line of chefs preparing the food just in front of it. The decor makes use of rough wood, decorative tiles, copper and stained glass giving the space a warm, natural feel. The menu changes weekly and is minimalist to say the least with a choice of only 2 starters, 1 main and 2 desserts (as well as some sides and snacks) so it’s well worth a look online before you go to make sure you actually like the sound of what’s being served this week! The pricing is simple as well, which I like. Two courses for £17 or three for £22.
We ordered some Spiced Nuts for £2.50 to snack on, which were nothing to write home about but a nice snack nonetheless. The starters this week were Deep Fried Mussels & Cauliflower with Tahini and a Winter Fattoush. I asked our server what a fattoush was (just like every other customer did that night) to be told it’s a bread salad with fried pieces of bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables. Both starters were lovely and worked well shared between us. Anything deep-fried is going to be tasty and the fattoush was full of flavour and texture.
This was a beer night but there were none on the menu. We asked our server and were told there were two available, a normal one and a strong one. We had both during the meal but they were very expensive at £4.50 and £5.50 a bottle. You’re better off ordering from the reasonably priced wine list.
The chicken at Le Coq Islington is always Sutton Hoo and this week was served with Turkish Lentils and Carrots. It’s pot luck which pieces of chicken you get (although you can probably put in a request). I got two lovely pieces of juicy breast and Mark has a piece of breast and a drumstick. The lentils and carrots had an authentic middle eastern depth of flavour to them and there was plenty of gravy to mop up with the perfectly cooked chicken.
We had a couple of great sides as well. There was a special of Beetroot, Castelfranco & Roasted Shallots (£3.50) which made a great side salad and I highly recommend the beautifully crispy Rotisserie Potatoes (£3.75), which were everything you could want from a roast potato.
The roast chick at Le Coq Islington was the best I’ve had for a long time, which makes it a great location for your next Sunday roast. If you have a look at their Sunday menu you’ll see that there’s still a choice of only 2 starters and desserts but there are 3 delicious choices for your main course with options like rotisserie octopus, pork loin, fore rib of beef and fish options as well. Again, this changes weekly so make sure you check before you go.
|Two Courses x 2||£17.00 each|
|Beer x 2||£4.50 each|
|Special Beer x 2||£5.50 each|
|Americano x 2||£2.75 each|
292-294 St Paul’s Rd,
London N1 2LH
Tuesday – Saturday
Lunch 12:00 – 15:00
Dinner 17:00 – 22:30
12:00 until the spits are empty (19:00 – 21:00)