Be aware that Roganic's lease comes up June 20th 2013, and the restaurant will simply shut at this point, so be aware of this when making reservations.
Roganic is the London sister of Simon Rogan’s l’Enclume in Cumbria, which has a Michelin star and has gained a reputation for its modern cooking and use of local ingredients. This was my second meal at Roganic, this time with the kitchen being run by Andy Tomlinson, who had worked at l’Enclume in Cartmel for several years prior to moving here. The meal began with a couple of nibbles. Millet pudding with Lincolnshire Poacher cheese and garlic mayonnaise on little crackers were enjoyable, the cheese and garlic flavours working well together (15/20). Croquettes of deep-fried pork belly and eel were beautifully rich, crisp on the outside with the pork and eel notes combining well (17/20).
Shelled peas with beef tongue, calamint oil, dill and anise powder, pea shoots and a topping of pea mousse was successful, the peas having very good flavour, though the mint oil seemed to me a little too strong (15/20). This was followed by “Grown up yolk from the golden egg, wild puffed rice, celeriac puree, garlic mayonnaise and wood sorrel.” The smoked goat curd was served with a chicken mousse and edible gold gel, a rich concoction nicely balanced by the crispy celeriac and a little watercress puree (17/20).
Keen's cheddar dumplings, cream of onion, nasturtium flower foam, charred courgettes and liquorice powder again had a nice flavour combination, though a firm textural element might have been an idea (16/20). Raw mackerel was served in coal oil with lovage emulsion, pickled gooseberries and potato crisps. The mackerel was excellent, the texture from the potato crisps a welcome balance (16/20).
Dragon's egg cucumber was served with pineapple weed oil, goat cheese snow and mallow flowers. This was the one dish of the meal that I did not think worked at all, as the texture was slimy and the flavours just amalgamated into one; I am not sure how to score this, but it was not to my taste. Razor clams with sea herbs, baby turnips and crispy pearl barley put the meal back on track, with tender razor clams and harmonious accompaniments (16/20).
Chick O Hake (hake cheek) was served with beetroots, red orach (mountain spinach), common sorrel, cockles and roast bone sauce. The hake was carefully cooked and the sauce worked well, with the vegetables a nice foil for the richness of the hake (16/20). Duck breast was served with yellow beans, duck sweetbreads, sage oil powder, sweetcorn puree and corn. This was a lovely dish, the corn and the duck going nicely together, the sweetbreads adding another flavour note (17/20).
The first dessert course was Douglas fir cream, macerated cherries, goat milk jam and pennyroyal. This was reasonable, but I prefer my desserts to be sweet. Hazelnuts and sweet cheese ice cream with rosehip syrup, anise hyssop and atsina cress seemed to me more successful, the elements working nicely together, and although this was hardly a traditional dessert its flavours were coherent (17/20). Service was excellent throughout, the staff friendly, enthusiastic and clearly knowledgable about the dishes. The Irish sommelier in particular was charming. The bill came to £150 a head, the tasting menu component being £80. The kitchen seems in safe hands under Andy Tomlinson.
Further reviews: 01st Jul 2011