Roganic - Christmas on a Plate

This two year pop-up restaurant behind Selfridges is created by the Michelin star restaurant, L’Enclume (at Cumbria). Only tasting menus are available, so simply choose whether you’d like six or ten courses. We picked the six courses and every dish was fantastic, simply outstanding! It’s quite costly, so advanced saving is required!

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I never understood the logic behind this two year pop-up restaurant. A couple months or a week I’d understand to gain some publicity before it’s official restaurant opening. But L’Enclume is already a well established restaurant, perhaps one of the best in the UK. London would welcome its second restaurant with open arms, so why not open a permanent restaurant?

Enough of me rumbling! Lets looks at the delicious food. 

Canape

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Both canapés were delicious, crispy pork belly and squid ink crackers filled with cream cheese. A wonderful start to our tasting menu. 

Bread & Butter

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Excellent bread selection with organic butter. This brush of butter on a stone has become Roganic’s signature, I was impressed when fellow foodies on Twitter could identify Roganic from this butter stone. The potato bread was the most delicious (far right), soft with a perfect crust like those from a freshly baked baguette.  

Millet pudding with grains, burnt pear and Isle of Mull Blue

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An interesting starter that looked more like a dessert. It had a similar texture to a risotto but with much firmer rice/spelt. As a result, extra chewing was required, but this also made its rich earthy flavour last longer. The addition of blue cheese also enhanced the dish with extra aromas rather than overpowering it. Perfect in every way. 

Roasted Scallop, cured char, purple sprouting and chokeberry vinaigrette

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The vibrant colours were like christmas on a plate. It was flawless, the buttery scallops and the sharp chokeberry vinaigrette balanced each other so beautifully. Compared to the light and clean scallops from Viajante, this was rather bold in flavour but equally delicious. 

King Richard baked in clay and rosemary, autumn truffle and shallot jam

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This dish had a dramatic entry, we were first shown how it was clay coated on top of a large bowl of soil before turning into this beautiful plate. Our host then grated a generous amount of truffle that almost buried the leek. It was too dramatic for a vegetable, normally we’d expect this for chicken or pork. Everything was delicious, the shallot sauce was outstanding! Lightly creamy yet intensely rich with earthy flavours, similar to a milder mushroom sauce. It brought everything together beautifully, easily pushed this dish to perfection.  

Dab baked in fennel salt, sea beet, parsley root and watermint

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I’ve not tried dab before, the texture was similar to a lemon sole. In this case, perfectly cooked, tender and slippery with a beautiful shine. The parsley mousse was another hit, incredibly rich in flavour that brought everything together. 

72 hour braised short rib, carrot, buckshorn plantain and redcurrant

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Nothing can be better than slowly braised meat, that tenderness and juiciness can linger on for ages and ages, followed by days of craving. This was exactly it, I simply pressed my knife on top and it fell into pieces! Drenched in a sweet and sour sauce that was accentuated by the shapely sour redcurrants. What a magnificent dish!

Roasted parsnip

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My lunch partner couldn’t eat beef so she swapped the short rib to this roasted parsnip. It was hard for her to justify the value of this tasting menu from this parsnip, even worse watching me digging into that lovely short rib. Without the short rib, the six course tasting menu lacked a climax that the previous dishes did so brilliantly to build up.

Anyhow, she loved the roasted parsnip. That mashy texture was similar to well cooked yam.  

Bilberries, dried caramel, apple sorbet and iced lemon thyme

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Normally you’d have some pre-desserts to clean your palate before eating the main dessert, but Roganic was the other way around. We went straight into our dessert, followed by two little plates of post desserts.

This main dessert was as refreshing as a pre-dessert, a strong focus on healthy fruits and summery sorbet plus some light cream. An excellent dessert for those who dislike super sweet flavours. 

Post desserts

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The soup was strange (it was hot) but I loved the freshly baked white chocolate cookie. It was still hot with a meltable sweetness. 

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This victoria sponge came after we paid our bill, delicious but a bit out of place. The main dessert had left a refreshing aftertaste that concluded our meal perfectly, which this creamy and super sweet sponge countered. Maybe ask guests to take it away next time? 

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Normally I’d describe the deco and ambience at the beginning, but I didn’t want to bias your views before knowing how great the food was. The restaurant was a bit claustrophobic, probably due to the mew like low ceiling and awkwardly placed tables. I found myself difficult to relax, though you can easily fix this by coming with a large party. Chat energetically and have some wine to not notice the surroundings. It was also quite cold in the restaurant, much better to come in summer. 

Verdict - 4/5

Food (amazing) - every course was amazing, I couldn’t fault anything. The 72 hour braised short rib was unbelievably tender and succulent. One that I will remember for sure. Overall, the dishes seemed to focus on earthy flavours, which was executed perfectly when combined with high quality ingredients. I found the plating playfully christmas like, hearty for a high end fine dining restaurant. 

Service (some waits) - service was good, but there was a bit of wait between each dish. Especially at beginning where I stared at the butter for about 10 minutes before the bread basket came. After that it was about 7 minutes of waiting between each course. Make sure you order some wine to help pass the time.

Cost (expensive) - Our bill came to £135, with the six course tasting menu priced at £55 each. Compared to the 4 additional dishes we had before the first course at Viajante (£50 for 6 courses), this was quite expensive. Also, I didn’t feel full after lunch, a sudden craving came up for pizza. Maybe I should’ve gone for 10 courses. 

 

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