05 May 2016
Black Roe looks small but I was surprised that at the number of diners they could seat- I'd guess about 40 – 50 diners? Black Roe's bar is right at the back of the room and so walking towards the bar, I could not help but lust over the dishes served. It all look very elegantly plated and the colours of the food were like sunshine. Right, partly it was the dim yellow lighting that seems to make food look more appetising. There is also a private room downstairs which could seat up to 20 diners. On one side of the room there are tanks of fresh lobster and fish and with a semi open kitchen, diners in the private room are not missing any of the fun upstairs.
After a round of cocktails (from £9.50) each, we head to our table with all eagerness and enthusiasm for the food.
My heart skipped a little when I looked at the price list of wine, with the cheapest bottle at £200.00 and runs up to more than £2,000. But then I realised that it was the fine wine list. I started to look at that with a different view. There are more French wines (from chateaus and domaines that I am not familiar with) as well as a couple from Spain and Italy and one each from Australia and USA. As much as I was tempted to go for it, I had to be practical and check out the more affordable wines, which starts from £25.00 onwards.
The star dish of Black Roe is their poké (pronounced “poe-kay”). Poké is popular in Hawaii and is traditionally ahi tuna served with seasoned rice. At Black Roe, apart from the ahi tuna classic, other poké dishes include beef tataki, scallop, vegetable, seabass, yellowtail and salmon (prices from £6.50 - £10.95 for a trio selection). But Black Roe is not only about poké and fish. The hot appetisers (from £7.95 onwards) include some crowd pleaser dishes such as tempura and pot stickers. The main dishes from the Kiawe wood grill offers dishes such as smoky lamb rack, cajun style blackened seabass, bison rib eye steak (from £9.95 - £34.90). A more affordable speedy lunch is available from £13.95 and a 3 course set lunches at £23.50.
On the dessert menu, there is the more prudent style such as chocolate cake, apple tart tatin and a range of ice-cream and sorbets.
salmon poké with yellow chilli salsa £6.95
classic ahi poké with roasted sesame soy marinade £7.95
seabass poké with mustard roe salsa £6.95
asparagus tempura with coriander salsa, truffle aioli £9.95 – beautiful presentation and sound of ingredients but the tempura did not have that tempura crunch and the aioli was not so much to drain the tempura in.
kalua pork belly with mirto puree, apple salsa £12.90 – the pork belly tasted amazing. Well seasoned, soft and moist but has texture, crackling skin and a slight sweet and tangy sauce.
whole lobster mac 'n' cheese £29.95 – the pasta was al dente, just how I like it, and coated with a delightfully cheesy lobster sauce that had small peices of lobster in it, I had to keep picking at it until every last bit was gone!
chicken “spatchcock” with grilled corn salsa £12.50
ahi tataki toasted brioche with piquillo peppers, smoked aji £13.95 – the fish is so meaty it really deserves the name of red meat of the sea. I love raw fish and this was done well.
Black Roe was packed but head chef, Rob Thompson was as calm as still water. He even gave us a kitchen tour himself!
chocolate melting cake with vanilla ice-cream £8.50 – it was a little on the sweet side for me.
fresh doughnuts with lemon sugar and chocolate £7.50 – warm doughnuts with lemon sugar and chocolate was hard not to like. The doughnuts were slightly dense and heavy with more bite and texture. I do prefer it this way than fluffy ones, so I love it.
shake and bake £12.50 – a wow factor. It made me so happy seeing the giant cup with ice-cream, marshmallow, thousands and millions, meringue, ice-cream, chocolate sauce but the best of all, the excitement on my friends' faces too. Was it good? Well, it was not too sweet to start off with but it was great dessert to share and an eye catcher. It was fun.
Service was a little up and down. It started out brilliantly but it was not elegant. I'd say at times, they were rather impolite by interrupting our conversations. Certainly not befitting to the posh image that Black Roe was set up for. Music was definitely too loud.
I like the kind of food served in Black Roe. It certainly appeals and with that slight touch of glamour, I'd certainly say it was a fun evening out. Food was ranging from good to quite good with the desserts not as exciting as the savory dishes. It is expensive but not ludicrous and they give a good portion size for their prices. Remember, it is after all, Mayfair.