I’ve always wanted to try Le Coq, which bills itself as ‘a neighbourhood rotisserie restaurant’ and is literally two minutes’ walk from D’s flat in Islington. However, on the one night we tried to go, it was shut (yeah, not open on Mondays, really should have checked first) so that was a bit of a disappointment. However, a long overdue meet up with my lovely friend C, which included the screening of a very good John Le Carre adaptation, A Most Wanted Man, resulted in dinner here afterwards; she’d booked and everything.

Just as well as even at 9pm the joint, as they say, was jumping. Admittedly, it’s not all that big – around 20 tables upstairs, though there is another room in the basement – but people clearly couldn’t get enough of this chicken. Obviously, I was keen to see how it fared alongside my beloved Chicken Shop – but it became speedily apparent that Le Coq does things slightly differently.

Rather than just bringing you massive lumps of chicken, with a succession of sides, it brings you specially prepared chicken recipes – apparently they change this regularly – with ‘extras’, and 2 courses are £17 (3 for £22). So far, so intrigued. We tried both starters first, which tonight were a very tasty tomato and roasted aubergine bruschetta, and a very moreish pork and juniper terrine with pickled apricots (though I left the apricots; still not good with sweet mixed with savoury).

Then we were brought the dish of the day: rotisserie Sutton Hoo chicken cooked with white beans, grilled garlic scapes (the stalks, apparently) and herbs, with which we’d ordered all the extras: roasted potatoes, a small salad, and – my favourite – harissa yoghurt. The chicken was moist (I so hate that word) and tender, the sauce was sloppy and yummy, and the sides – sorry, extras – didn’t last very long. Harissa yoghurt is now a ‘thing’ as far as I’m concerned; C’s already bought herself the raw ingredients so she can recreate this at home.

The staff are cool and friendly, and the drinks list is good; C had an Aperol Spritz while I stuck to a good house red. Decor is simple and, similarly to Chicken Shop, has a lot of coq paraphernalia scattered around. Good work.

Atmosphere: 9/10 – buzzing, jumping, etc.

Food: 8/10 – very good; solid and flavoursome

Value For Money: 7/10 – prices perhaps a teensy bit high