Premium smoked meat
|Scallop in the shell with ndjua & british seaweed|
It hasn't been long since I last at at the original Rök Smokehouse in Shoreditch; that time, the meal was generally solid and surprised with some very interesting flavours. So as soon as I found out that Rök was launching a second site, with a soft launch offer, I put it at the top of my to-do list, as the main reason for not eating there regularly is the premium price. The new site is between Angel and Highbury & Islington station, the décor is fairly simple with an open bar in the middle of the restaurant.
|Soused mackerel with picked onion|
|Pork with Granny Smith|
The menu here is very similar to the first site's; classic dishes from Shoreditch's restaurant made it on to the new menu such as the scallops and blackened cabbage. When l tried the popular scallop dish for the first time, it was indeed special; perfectly cooked and the spiciness of the ndjua really brought the sweetness and freshness of the scallop to life, while the salty seaweed acted as an interesting flavour pairing. The main of pork was rather special, it had such a lovely smoky flavour and the meat was as moist as you can get. The classic garnishes of pickled Granny Smith apple offered crispiness and sourness to offset the richness of the meat, it was really was a well balanced dish. The texture of the pigeon could have been a little tenderer, but the flavours of root artichoke offered a much-needed and successful hint of earthiness, which worked finely with the red meat.
|Pigeon with root artichoke and gooseberry jam|
|Guinea fowl with pickled mushroom and cured pork|
|Pale ale peanut butter ice cream and smoked peach|
Overall it was another solid evening at Rök, just like the first site, the mains were outstanding and I found the service in Islington a touch better. The team behind Rök really know how to cooked up some wonderful smoked meat and the mains I have tried are right up with other top BBQ joints such as Smokehouse and Pitt Cue. The only real let down was the desserts as both the peanut butter ice cream and smoked peach were fairly average and uninteresting. But Rök does offer something different in terms of its Nordic take on barbecue, which in itself is a rarity in London right now.
What I paid:
£22 per head
Average cost without drinks and services:
149 Upper Street London N1 1RA