Nordic smoking affair
|Dinner dishes at Rok Smokehouse|
I have a limited knowledge of Nordic cuisine, however I could happily eat barbecued meat all day long. So the sound of Nordic-style smoked meat seemed like something worth trying and that was the reason I paid a visit to Rok. Rok Smokehouse was launched in Shoreditch in 2015, a specialist in cured meat, smoked meat and pickles. The menu is fairly short, with only 4 starters and 4 mains alongside some pickles, nibble and side dishes. When l visited, it had also just opened its basement as a stand alone bar called "Below the Smoke", offering a selection of contemporary and creative cocktails.
|Cobble Lane charcuterie|
|Mussels cooked in wheat beer|
The Cobble Lane charcuterie from Islington was a winning start to the meal; the powerful aroma of the herbs mixed well with the oiliness of the beautiful meat, it was such a treat with the toasted sourdough and pickles. This was British cured meat at its finest and just as good as its Italian counterpart. Less impressive was the dish of mussels cooked in wheat beer, not the freshest mussels I have tasted and the stock lacked the boozy, bitter or hoppy flavours that I was expecting. Blackened cabbage was a clever side dish; cleverly textured and finely seasoned layers with a really lovely creamy, peppery taste to it.
|Blackened cabbage with nori rice|
|Beef rump with creamed coe's curd and wild garlic cinegar|
The duck was a pure sensation, it was so tender and packed with rich, smoky flavours. The lingonberry bacon jam added an extra layer of sourness and sweetness to the plate, it worked so well with the perfectly executed duck - what a wonderful dish. The smoked rump of beef also had a bold, powerful flavour, but could have been tenderer. But the taste, again, was spot on. The robust flavours of the garlic and the creamy texture of the cow's curd served alongside completed a plate packed with delightful savoury flavours.
|Duck with lingonberry bacon jam|
Rok Smokehouse was a really interesting discovery. The cooking, especially the main dishes, were prepared to a very high standard. The meats were smoked with a modern, refined touch. It’s not the cheapest restaurant however, the cost of some of the items are questionable as the portions were tiny. I would strongly advise skipping the starters and going straight to the mains, as well as sharing some side dishes to keep the cost down if you’re on a budget. The service on the night was fairly weak; I failed to understand why the waiter had to repeat everything else that was written on the menu. The worst part was when we were given the bill before we had requested it without giving us any explanation, which was somewhat strange.
What I paid:
£30 per head
Average cost without drinks and services:
26 Curtain Road,Shoreditch, London EC2A 3NY