Tuesday 27 September 2011


It was my birthday last week and as always we 'buy' each other meals or food instead of presents! I feel so lucky that my husband loves food just as much as I do! He booked Roganic for lunch for the two of us. I hadn't really had time to look at their menu in much detail before we went, so I didn't really know what to expect. All I knew about it, was that they often use quite 'strange' ingredients that I wouldn't really have heard of or eaten before.

Once again, it was a bit of an ordeal leaving Missy - more because I was late getting ready, than anything else... We got there 40 minutes later and I felt calmer the moment I walked into the small, yet light, dining space. The tables are well-spaced and the ambiance relaxed. The staff are very friendly and made us feel comfortable instantly.

And once again, we looked at the menu for no reason at all; we knew we were going to go for the 10 courses! It was my birthday after all! My husband went for the matching wines too - all from the Leth winery in Austria.

The first hint of brilliance arrived in the form of a canape: Squid ink crisp with aioli smear, cucumber foam and linseeds (or at least we think they were linseeds, but I was washing my hands when the canape arrived, so I missed the description!). It was amazing. Light and refreshing, yet full of flavour.

Then the bread arrived. Or should I say breads! There was chestnut flatbread, Irish soda, potato and buttermilk, and Pumpernickel. All delicious, rich in flavour and fluffy in texture. The Irish soda was almost like a cake! All served with whipped salted butter.

1st course: Heirloom tomato, poached lambs tongue and dill custard. It was amazing! One of the nicest things I have ever eaten, and I don't even like lamb that much! The dill custard was pure genius, rich in texture, but so light in flavour! The whole dish was very velvety, with a crisp texture coming from the dehydrated tomatoes.

2nd course: Braddock White, puff ball mushroom, barley flakes and marjoram. The Braddock White is a type of duck egg. A deliciously creamy, slow-cooked duck egg, with mushrooms and crispiness and a marjoram oil drizzled on top. Very good indeed!

3rd course: Cured and smoked River Tweed trout, Watts farm peppers and crab apple. This course was genius! It arrived at the table in a glass cloche filled with smoke (no picture I'm afraid!) I think this was a contender for my favourite course and was one of those things that I will never forget eating. It sounds simple, but the texture and flavour of the trout was fantastic and it worked so well with the roasted red and yellow peppers and the apple puree. Dreamy stuff!

4th course: Pig and smoked eel, black mustard, sea purslane and pickled corn. This course had us split in terms of its success. My husband loved it, I thought it was fine, but not great. I found something on the plate left a slight bitterness on the palette - possibly the black mustard? The pig and eel croquettes were delicious, though and the sea purslane was a lovely salty and crunchy addition.

5th course: Grilled langoustine, purple sprouting, elder and loganberry oil. This was another great course. The langoustine was cooked perfectly and it had a great barbecued flavour. The loganberry was a pleasant surprise and it complimented the langoustine so well. Perfect middle course to get us back on track for the rest of the meal!

6th course: Royal kidneys cooked in chicken fat, snow peas, goat's curd and clam juice. Royal kidneys are potatoes, for those who didn't know - I was one of those! The whole dish was also finished off with crispy chicken skin. It was all very delicious and extremely rich. My husband enjoyed it more than me - I found it a little too rich and strong in flavour.

7th course: Skate belly, young beet root, caramelised cauliflower, King scallop. This was definitely the second contender for best course. The fish was perfectly cooked, almost nutty from the butter it was cooked in. The beet root worked really well with it and the caramelised cauliflower puree was out of this world. It was sweet and creamy and delicious and I could have eaten tonnes of it! This was a perfectly balanced dish and I wish there was a device that could allow me to 'save' those flavours.

8th course: Cumbrian rose veal cooked in buttermilk, cobnuts, mead and wild cabbage puree. The final contender for the best course! The veal was cooked to perfection, tender as anything and so moist! Yet again this dish achieved the perfect balance of richness with freshness - all the ingredients working together in unison to create something great. I 'll let the picture speak for itself!

Cheese course: We decided to share a little cheese too, as we obviously hadn't had enough food already! The cheese, all British (goats cheese with ash, Wigmore, a Gouda-esque cheese, a blue cheese and a whisky rind washed cheese) was served with oatcakes and raisin and nut bread, a apple and celery chutney and pears stuffed with pickled walnut.

9th course: Bilberries, dried caramel, natural yoghurt and iced lemon thyme. This dessert does not read great on paper. It sounds a little strange and, well, not quite dessert-like. But it was lovely. It had good sweetness, acidity from the yoghurt and freshness from the iced lemon thyme. Very refreshing - a great first dessert!

10th course: White chocolate sorbet with rapeseed, plums and meadowsweet. This WAS a dessert. The chocolate sorbet was fantastic - so smooth and creamy. The plums were soft and sweet and it was all served with a rapeseed cake crumb.Yum yum!

The meal was finished off with a bayleaf milkshake, a jammy dodger and a raspberry and vanilla cream sponge. What a treat! I must say I wasn't a great fan of the milkshake - but I always find bayleaf a little strong in flavour. And, boy, did this milkshake taste of bayleaf! The jammy dodger and the sponge were both great though. What a lovely way to end the perfect meal!

On the way home we were discussing the meal - the ambiance, the service, the food etc - and decided that this actually was the best tasting menu and one of the best meals we have ever had! And I don't mean to brag, but we have eaten in some good places! I would highly recommend it to anyone!

19, Blandford St, London, W1U 3DH

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