Afterthoughts – Succulent chickadees at La Rotisserie
The French have a close affinity to chicken, and as the Mister’s very facetious (and pardon, very French) father likes to say “the chicken is France’s animal national, and it’s the only bird that can still sing when standing with its feet in its own shit”. I absolutely adore how “rather colourful” the future father-in-law can be – in fact, it makes me feel right at home.
I’ve heard quite a few good things about La Rotisserie, the newish French poulet shop in Sheung Wan, so on a busy weekday, I dashed to this tiny little shop to whisk away a delicious roast chicken dinner.
I almost missed the entrance to this little shop, as the address said Queen’s Road Central while it’s actually tucked into a small side street. Luckily, like Toucan Sam, my nose led me to the destination. At first glance, the red and gold rotisserie reminded me of the many I’ve seen (and salivated to whilst watching) during my visits to La Butte de Montmartre in Paris, a chaos of meandering streets filled with enticing moules et frites, rotisseries, and local street artists.
Serving up plump, juicy, and oh la la so French free-range poulet.
A selection of quiches, plus the delectable chocolate cake.
Rustic accompaniments – roasted vegetables and potatoes, dribbled with jus de poulet. I love how all the platters are iconic red Le Creuset!
Voila! With a few minutes in a hot oven, served alongside my own flash-blanched broccoli sprinkled with course sea salt, this meal looks like something we would eat after a Sunday Mass in the Mister’s hometown of Le Mans.
In fact, on one such Sunday a couple of years back, when I sat through a 2 hour long Mass en francais (all the while secretly reading Eat, Pray, Love on my Kindle), we were greeted with the perfume of roasting chicken from the nearby Sunday farmers’ market upon existing the church. Apparently, for the French, a roasted chicken is what an Sunday roast is to the English.
Last but not least, to conclude my piggy feast – “let them have cake!” The chocolate gateau was crunchy on top, and silky smooth within, almost reminiscent of a ganache. And most importantly, there were flecks of sea salt throughout the cake, making wonderful contrast between savoury and sweet.
Verdict: The French can make anything look and taste elegant, even take away food. The chicken was juicy and bursting with flavour, and so very tender. Pardon the cliche, but it was “finger-lickin’ good”. I dare say it’s the most flavourful roast chicken I’ve tasted in all of Hong Kong. I wasn’t a huge fan though of the jus de poulet as I found it exceedingly oily. The potatoes were good but not fantastic – I don’t mean to brag, but I still prefer the ones I roast with a dash of Hy’s steakhouse salt and olive oil. The chocolate cake was phenomenal, and I was especially won over by the contrast created by the sea salt.
However, would I come back? Oui, but only if I happen to be in the area. I must say, for half the price and a more convenient (for me) location, Oliver’s roasted chicken is hard to beat. So peut-être I will come back when I fancy a fluttering of French, but Oliver’s would still be my preferred choice for roasted chicken.