Thursday, 10 November 2011

Notes from a big city – part the second

So when last we saw our hero and heroine they were on a train back to Romford with full tummies and a couple of hip flasks full of Old Pulteney liqueur. (Extended parenthesis: I don’t think I mentioned the hip flasks in my previous post – suffice to say, D had decided to indulge himself and his best man with a small, metal container from which they would be able to swig alcohol on a forthcoming camping trip. I’m not quite sure why either.)

But back to the important part of this post which is that the following day, once tummies had been sufficiently deflated, they…we (maintaining a third person pronoun will end up making me confused) headed back out (in?) to the metropolis in order to have lunch at Roganic.

Roganic claims to be a pop up restaurant – which I feel is up for debate given that it is going to be kicking around for a couple of years. This suggests to me not so much popping as….well, just being. But it doesn’t matter because it is only right that the capital gets to appreciate the genius of chef Simon Rogan and his talented team. Rogan has a restaurant up in a remote corner of the Lake District called L’Enclume, where D and I enjoyed one of the finest meals we have ever had in this country. It has one Michelin star but I am fairly sure that if it were in London it would have at least two. It deserves three. It is absolutely amazing. If you are ever up North then go. We were hoping for more of the same at Roganic and we were not disappointed in the least.

Now, I should be clear that if you are not the type of person who thinks that the word “interesting”, when applied to food, is a compliment then this is probably not your sort of place. Does that sound patronising? I do hope not. I merely mean that there are some people, close friends and relatives of mine among them, who want their food simple and their combinations classic. And to be honest, for my last meal on Earth I’d probably be more interested in bangers and mash than a plate of wizardy pokery and edible doo-dahs. But D and I also love going to restaurants where the chef is going to challenge our taste buds. Simon Rogan’s food is definitely different – some of the ingredients he uses you won’t even have heard of. But you won’t care because they taste so good.

I won’t bore you by detailing all the ten courses we chomped through. I will, however, share some of the pictures with you because the dishes were as beautiful as they were delicious. Also, they were taken by D so they are of a slightly higher quality than the risible food photography to which you are usually subjected.

A couple of particular highlights for me were the chargrilled langoustine (pictured fourth above) which was served with yoghurt and elderberries (prawn! With yoghurt! And fruit! Crazy, but utterly amazing) and the bilberries with dried caramel and iced lemon thyme (sixth above) which was as fresh and sweet as…a river nymph. But it is hard to pick a favourite moment in the face of such consistent quality.

The staff were absolutely lovely as well, happy to chat and engage throughout – although I felt a little bit sorry for the waitress who asked us what our favourite course was and was subjected to a whole five minutes of earnest debating. Oh, oh and the butter for the amazing bread was served on a stone that looked like a potato! I think I have a picture of that as well, actually…

So, Roganic. Do go along. And go to L’Enclume as well while you’re at it – I promise you’ll thank me for it.  Just make sure it's within, er, two years (or so) of reading this or it may well have popped off...

19 Blandford Street
0207 4860380


  1. Sounds lovely! I've always wanted to eat properly out in London... I will take that recommendation :) xxx

  2. Wow looks great! Very posh!!!