Craving a chicken fix, editor Marissa Carruthers and photographer Lucas Veuve head to La Rotisserie Chicky.

There’s something about chicken that makes universally likeable. No matter where you are in the world, it somehow ends up being the fallback meat option on the menu. It’s also the go-to animal that some ‘vegetarians’ see as acceptable for breaking their meat ban – a ‘fact’ based on two vegetarian friends who counted chicken as okay to eat in the form of a sloppy kebab after a few beers.

While roast chicken is readily available across the capital, and the rest of Cambodia for that matter, none boast the authentic cooking equipment and specially imported ingredients that give the poultry being served up at La Rotisserie Chicky its signature and wholesome flavour.

Welcoming diners at the entrance is an open-air, chicken-roasting machine, which slow cooks a series of plump, skewered meat on a turning spit, releasing a mouth-watering and inviting aroma.

Following French tradition, which is where the restaurant owners hail from, fluffy potatoes are cooked in the sizzling chicken fat that collects below.

Inside, is an intimate eating space, with weathered blue and cream tiled floors and industrial-style concrete walls emblazoned with the rotisserie’s red logo and slogan, boasting premium quality farm-grown chickens imported directly from Europe. A block black wall to the back bares the simple menu for diners to pore over.

Prices are reasonable too, adding to the restaurant’s appeal, and guests can opt for imported or local meat, with a half an imported chicken costing $6 and a whole (1.6kg) $10. The Cambodian counterparts cost $5 and $8 (0.9kg) respectively. The Chicky set is another great bargain, coming in at $5 for quarter a roast chicken, one side, a salad and drink. Side options include Chicky liver mousse ($3) and salad of potatoes, cream sauce and grilled chicken ($3).

We plumped for the set menu for two people ($7), half a roast chicken plus two sides of salad and potatoes, as well as the Chicky soup ($1.50). The chicken came served in a large pan sitting on a bed of potatoes and giant green chillis. The skin was perfectly crisp and the secret marinade of herbs lifted the natural flavour of the meat. The potatoes, doused in olive oil, parsley and Chicky juice could have been a bit crunchier on the outside but worked well with the chicken all the same.

Without the salad of lettuce, olive oil, shallots and wine vinegar, the dish was in fear of being too dry but the fresh vegetables complimented the meal perfectly, and the soup – a huge bowl almost spilling over with a faintly spicy, wholesome broth almost spilling over with healthy portions of chicken, herbs, boiled potatoes and carrots.

Add into the mix, the restaurant serves Irn Bru ($1) imported all the way from Scotland – something I know for sure will have my Scottish pals queuing out the door – and I think it’s onto a winner. However, if you don’t like chicken then don’t bother turning up.

65 Street 63, Phnom Penh
Tel: Tel. 023 213 622.
Open daily from 8am to 11pm