We'd been looking forward to this, the press reports were decent, the reviews on here for this and its Shoreditch sister look good, and it showed signs of being different .
But we were glad to leave after only an hour, and none of the eight dishes we ordered except the lauded scallop escaped being dull in the extreme. We arrived late afternoon to find a virtually empty restaurant, in a space that didn't look like anyone had made an effort to make it pleasant or comfortable, with no definite style. The menu we were given was very different from and much less interesting than the menu online, checked at lunchtime. Most of the tempting stuff wasn't being served. Nevertheless we chose 8 dishes - pretty much half the main menu- to make sure we left with a clear view of what they could do.
I'm not going to run through each of these dishes, for they all had the same problem; they just weren't interesting or flavoursome, had virtually no signs of a Scandinavian heritage and virtually nothing smoky. It was like a lunch in a staff canteen. There was nothing amongst the pickles, the starters, the mains or the sides to create an exception to this view- no clues anywhere that the person or persons cooking this food could design a dish, or cook interestingly or well. It was the worst meal we've had in a restaurant this year. I should say that so far this year we've spent about three weeks in Scandinavia, and whilst some of the meals we've eaten in remote areas there have been less than exciting they have all, without exception, been clearly better than this.
Service was OK, though the fact that we'd ordered , eaten, paid and left inside the hour might tell you that things were on the brisk side. Value is poor because there is no such thing as good value for poor food. But the bill was £87 with just two glasses of wine and no coffee or dessert. I'd much rather have kept the £87 and not been here, and its rare for me to leave a restaurant fretting about how much I've spent, since we love eating out and it's important to us.
Sorry, there's a whole raft of new-ish, contemporary restaurants in London that offer a great range of food experiences. We've been to quite a number now and I'm pleased to say have mostly come away happy and stimulated. Just not at Rok.