Cape Town is embracing the paradox of the no-choice "menu" with a flurry of new chicken shops in and around Sea Point and the central business district. And while the food options are limited to poultry from the free-range Elgin chicken farms, each joint has a slightly different take. Zeitgeist, it seems, smells like roast chicken. In Sea Point, Cocotte (a children’s term for "hen" or "chick") on Regent Road is a French-fashioned takeaway rotisserie — the first of its kind in SA. It is a classic butcher-style shop, replete with subway tiles and a large print of Brigitte Bardot gnawing on a chicken leg. Co-owner Delphine de Beer explains that traditional French "rôtissoire" cooking is the traditional art of roasting chickens on a very slow rotation, which intensifies the flavour, resulting in tender, delicious meat. De Beer would know. Hailing from Paris, she is used to streets lined with portable rotisserie machines, their scents promising a casually indulgent dinner. When an opport...

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