SquareMeal Review of
Simon Rogan has had a busy year with two new London openings. He has diversified his London offering, first with chef’s table Aulis in Soho, and now with this resurrection of his much-lauded pop up Roganic, which ran for two years in 2011 and takes some elements from the chef’s two Michelin-starred L’Enclume. Roganic’s focus is on supremely fresh ingredients, often sourced from Rogan’s own farm in Cumbria, with head chef Oliver Marlow (part of the original Roganic line-up) overseeing 10- and 14-course tasting menus (£80/£115) of dainty but dynamic plates.
Everything we tried was near perfect, from the intensely creamy starting snack of a preserved raspberry tart rooted with an earthy beetroot base, to a dessert of apple slices caramelised into a bundle of sweetness that is almost too pretty to eat. More unconventional dishes include ice-cold scallops which first freeze the mouth before giving way to a topping of sour apple and gooseberry chunks, and a ramekin of unassuming-looking custard, which surprises with its savoury, saline notes of seaweed and caviar. The only dud is the dry-aged duck that is hyped up with a tableside visit from Marlow, but turned up minus the super-crispy skin we were promised.
France leads the European-focused wine list (good luck finding much below £45), while wine flights are supplemented by a dozen by-the-glass options, and there are also Cumbrian beers and gin. Service is positively warm and friendly. The restaurant’s understated interior (complete with 80s-style cane Cesca chairs) may not be to all tastes – not least given the not-very-understated prices – but Roganic excels at remixing the fine-dining of old in an exciting, and most importantly delicious, way.