If there is one place that you HAVE to eat at in the next 5 months – it’s Roganic. Why? Because Simon Rogan (the guy behind it all, hence the name “Roganic”) is a genius AND because it is closing June this year.
Simon’s home territory is the Lake District, Cartmel to be exact. It is a quaint little village which is now the foodie capital of the Lake District. Simon has acquired quite an empire in Cartmel too. There is Simon’s 2 Michelin star restaurant, L’Enclume, then his bistro, Rogan and Company, and new joiner to the empire – The Pig & Whistle, a local pub. I had the pleasure of spending a few days there last summer and it was beyond perfection.
In June 2011 Simon Rogan opened, Roganic, a two year pop up in London. After my wonderful time in Cartmel, I was itching to try it and with only 5 months left, I had to get my reservation booked up sharpish.
The exterior is very understated, as is the interior. Once our waiter had shown us to our table, we were brought the following amuse-bouche:
Squid ink bread with chicken liver. Dehydrated pork fat with pork and apple.
Both were delicious, my favourite was the pork. The pork fat had been dehydrated then lightly fried, basically pork crackling. That single mouthful set the bar for the evening, a very high one too.
As stated on the website there are different options on the menu, either 3, 6 or 10 courses. However, the options are specific to certain days and as we were dining on a Friday night, only the 10 course menu was available.
Leek custard with dill broth, salsify and mustard
A refreshing dish. The light dill broth was delicate in flavour. The mustard seeds gave a kick to the creamy leek custard.
Artichoke dumplings with truffle and Ragstone
The dish reminded me of the Japanese dumplings I ate at L’enclume. The artichoke cream and black truffle was like eating silk, it was so smooth and delicious.
Raw ox in coal oil, kohlrabi and pumpkin seeds
This was our favourite course of the evening. Between the tender raw ox pieces there were toasted pumpkin seeds, which added a nutty flavour.
Pink fir in chicken fat, crab, horseradish and chicken skin
The potatoes are cooked in chicken fat. They were sticky, just like the ones from a Sunday roast that have slipped under the chicken but a million times better. Crispy chicken skin is sprinkled all over. The potatoes hide the white crab underneath. Heaven.
Beets and butternut, parsley and hazelnuts
Personally my least favourite dish from the menu.
Oyster with cabbage, beer, onions and liquorice powder
The oyster was cooked in a water bath. The onions still had a crunch. I potentially thought the liquorice powder could over power but it didn’t.
Brill, chervil roots, cockles and wood blewits
Fantastic. Just, fantastic.
Haunch of venison, purple potato, carrots and alexanders
Stichelton, pear and wild flower honey
Pears were poached and still had a crunch to them. The creamy Stichelton was crumbled over. The heat from the pear almost melted the cheese and honey together. A cheese course like no other.
Yorkshire forced rhubarb, honeycomb, gingerbread and sorrel
Crumbled gingerbread with a honeycomb parfait on top. My friend with me loved this dish so much that he was almost licking the plate.
Chamomile, sea buckthorn, quince and cocoa caramel
While we had our coffees we were brought over olive oil and thyme cakes and a parsnip milkshake. The cakes were moist and so delicious that even after the ten courses I could have eaten another. The milkshake was clever, although not my favourite part of the meal.
The thought of a ten course tasting menu can be quite daunting. Will I make it through the ten courses? What if i get full half way? What the hell do I eat for breakfast or should I just miss breakfast and lunch all together?
The size of each course is important and Roganic judges it perfectly. I left the meal feeling perfectly full. The balance of flavours throughout the meal, were wonderful. The best thing about Simon Rogan’s food is the combination of flavours that you would never have imagined together. Each mouthful is carefully thought out – every taste, smell and texture.
The raw ox. The enthusiastic team behind Roganic. Simon himself.
It is closing June this year!
What’s the damage?
The 10 course tasting menu is £80 per head, and the cheese course was an additional £8. We decided to drink wine by the glass and had a couple of glasses of champagne to start with. Wine by the glass ranged from £7 onwards and champagne £12 onwards.
Who goes there?
By the end of the evening you will have spent enough dosh, but it is worth every penny. So, it is not the restaurant you pop out to have a casual bite to eat. It is certainly an event going there, and a very special event too. Take a date that is very into their food and you definitely get a load of brownie points.
Once again, another incredible culinary experience by Simon Rogan. Make sure you go before it’s too late.
19 Blandford Street