Irish chef Simon Whiteside proved his seafood credentials at Hook in Camden, after Bia Mara, his wildly popular seafood stall in Dublin, spawned two restaurants in Brussels and Antwerp. Roe is his first solo effort – and it’s a resounding hit.
Located in one of Pop Brixton’s shipping containers, there’s space for just 32 diners at the communal tables inside, plus an outside terrace for walk-ins. The menu is equally bijou: a changing one-page list of small and large plates. Despite its size, Roe has a big heart; its flavour-packed dishes are prepared with commendable skill and attention to detail.
Highlights include crisp and creamy cuttlefish and ink arancini served with a punchy pecorino foam, pan-fried ray wing paired with rich autumnal flavours of Jerusalem artichoke, wild mushrooms and a red wine jus, and spiced pollock on a textured bed of fermented lentils, roast onion, squash and baby red chard. Even the bread – black slices of ink and Guinness soda bread with addictive seaweed butter and whipped smoked cod roe – is knock-out.
A sustainable ethos extends from the well-sourced ingredients to the drinks list, which features organic wines, craft beers and Karma Cola softs, plus hard liquor from the Sustainable Spirits Co – including potent shots of Ban Poitin (Irish moonshine).