Le Coq Spread Their Wings | Le Coq, Islington, London
Le Coq in Islington is a rare gem – and when we say that, we mean that wholeheartedly, it’s especially lovely to visit at this time of year. We first discovered them a year ago when they were focusing purely on their Sutton Hoo chicken set menu and what damn fine chicken it was too. They’ve since branched out from this limited (but brilliant) offering to an assortment of other great quality meats and veg.
We’re not bragging but we do get a hell of a lot of invites to review restaurants – 80% of which we usually decline due to time restraints. This means we rarely re-visit places unless we really, really like them. And we really, really, really liked Le Coq.
Ade wasn’t best pleased that I bought along a friend instead of him to try the new menu, she lives just two tube stops away from Le Coq so I hoped it would become a new neighbourhood favourite for her and her husband. The restaurant was just the same as I remember – cosy and oh so welcoming. Whoever lives nearby and hasn’t been to Le Coq seriously needs to change that.
Starters were picture perfect and bursting with flavour and textures – hefty sizes too so watch out if you’re not feeling as ravenous as we were. Cured sea trout, fennel and dill (£6.50) was a wonderful creation and my friend’s Roast carrots, goats curd and barley (£5.50) didn’t stay on the plate for long.
Next up, I went for the super succulent and juicy Gloucester Old Spot with apple sauce (£10), whilst my friend had the ridiculously tender Speckled face mutton with burnt aubergine (£12). We paired our meats with the obligatory gorgeous Rotisserie potatoes (£3.75) and one of the new sides – English squash with lentils (£4). Not forgetting the legendary Harissa yoghurt (£1.25) and some Tarragon mayo (£1.25) – I wouldn’t normally bother with sauces but here is an exception. This was the most perfect autumnal comfort food, especially when you throw a carafe of a Manoir du Carra Beaujolais (£21) into the mix (not literally).
There’s new desserts too. As soon as our waitress explained what the hell Crème frites with chocolate and plum (£6) were, we were practically salivating. Thick, creamy custard breadcrumbed and then deep-fried. Please do not go overboard with all the other offerings on the menu as you simply must save room for these. They are everything that you’re imagining them to be right now.
The Quince and almond tart (£5) was lovely too and you can’t beat Poco ice cream but those custardy fingers are something else. It’s rare to go for a meal that is so consistently good throughout – from the food to the service. Le Coq have totally nailed it. Again.
Opening hours: Monday–Wednesday: 5–10:30pm
Thursday–Saturday: 12–3pm & 5–10:30pm
Book a table online
Nearest station: Highbury & Islington (2 mins walk)
We ate as guests of Le Coq, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.