Roganic is a two years pop up restaurant project in London by Simon Rogan, one of the winners from last year Great British Menu and chef patron of the 2 Michelin stared L'Enclume in Lake District. Simone is known for his creative cooking pushing British cuisine to a new level using top quality British produces and innovated techniques. With Roganic about to close down, I just got to give it a try to see what is so special about the place as it is one of most loved restaurant in London.
I had to book the place about 2 months in advance, I must say this is one of the hardest place to get a booking in London for a non Michelin restaurant beside Sushi Tetsu. Roganic is a tiny restaurant which can sit around 30 peoples, the décor is very pub like, but for a pop up restaurant, what is the point of spending a fortune on the interior? I was there for one reason only, and that is the food, and it didn't disappoint me at all.
We went for the 6 courses tasting menu, but before the order we were given some very tasty amuse bouche, the cod crisp really stood out, it retained the good aroma of cod plus the semi softness of the crisp gave an unusual texture which was fun. First to arrive was: Burnt mushroom, garlic and ramsons. This was a very interesting dish, the creamy mushroom base was very light, unexpectedly the creamy base only carried a small hint of mushroom and garlic flavours, but just enough and well balance, a very nice starter and it went great with the bread which was freshly baked, it was still burning hot when it arrived on the table!
Second dish was a really fun and flavoursome dish: Swede dumpling, barley, vegetable broth and shoots. I never tasted anything like this before, the soft and sticky texture of the dumpling absorbed the well-crafted t broth. It was light but yet packed with flavours, I wish all of my 5 a day were like that!
|Swede dumpling, barley, vegetable broth and shoots|
Next up was the Millet pudding, pear and celery. A very innovate dish, the millet pudding was almost like a risotto, but it has much more depth in term of texture and funny enough it has a rather earthy and meaty taste to it. The bbq pear was sandwiched between the celery form and the millet. This was a plate of flavours combinations, the bitterness and sharpness of the form cutting into the sweet and charred of the pear follow by the salty and earthy taste of the millet pudding but it worked wonderfully. Really show the quality of the chefs of understanding flavours.
|Millet pudding, pear and celery|
This was follow by a fish course: Plaice in brown butter, cockles and broccoli. It was beautifully present, I enjoyed the cockles the most out of everything on the plate, the tender texture was perfect as of the level of seasoning. The Plaice was cooked at the right level but I wasn't so keen with the super softness of the fish, it was like cutting into butter and I like my fish a little more meaty with more robust flavours.
|Plaice in brown butter, cockles and broccoli|
The last savoury dish was the star of the day, actually, make it star of the month: Reg's duck breast, gizzards, baby leeks, and mustard. The duck went for an extensive period of slow cooking process, it was by far the best duck dish I had in my life, rich, refine and just packed with wonderful flavours which words cannot describe. Checked with the waiter and turned out the duck was a special breed of British and Chinese, to get the best from both end, this was a remarkable dish, the effort of sourcing ingredients and cooking methods were second to none.
|Reg's duck breast, gizzards, baby leeks, and mustard|
Finished the meal with Yorkshine forced rhubarb, honeycomb, gingerbread and sorrel. The gingerbread and rhubarb really help to clean up the palate after such a rich savoury dish, the honeycomb ice cream wasn't overly sweet which was great, but overall just a bit lack of magic in my view consider we had so many great dishes earlier.
|Yorkshine forced rhubarb, honeycomb, gingerbread and sorrel|
To sum it up, this was a remarkable meal, some very interesting flavours and use of ingredients, very innovated but without just for the sake of it, this was one of the finest meal I had in 2013 and I was so glad I got the chance to try it before they close down in June, We were informed that they are currently seeking a new location nearby for a permanent restaurant and I will defiantly be there when its open.
£80 per head with a glass of wine
19 Blandford St, London,
Greater London W1U 3DH