Roganic is a two year pop up restaurant in Marylebone that still has a few more months to go. It’s sister restaurant is the rather more famous L’Enclume located in the medieval village of Cartmel in the Lake District. Roganic is very much a foodies destination, made all the more exciting by its inevitable expiry date.
The restaurant is small and minimalist as you might expect in a pop up restaurant. All the effort has gone into the food and service, which is no bad thing. The staff are friendly, efficient and enthusiastic. You can choose from a 3, 6 or 10 course tasting menu. I felt a bit like Goldielocks in that 3 courses was not enough, 10 courses was too much and 6 courses was just right.
The ingredients used, vegetables, fruits, edible flowers and herbs all come directly from Simon Rogans farm in Cartmel, and the breads are all made on the premises. This level of control is very much illustrated by the depth of flavour found in every dish.
I can not remember the specifics of the amuse bouche apart from the mention of butternut squash, mint and onion ash, but it was a lovely start and a taste of things to come.
The home made bread was also very good, especially the onion bread, which went well with the blue cheese flavoured butter.
The first course on the menu was described as Leek custard with dill broth, salsify and mustard, very flavoursome. This was followed by our favourite, a really stunning dish of Artichoke dumplings with truffle and ragstone. Next we had Beets and butternut, parsley and hazelnuts, again with strong flavours. The fish course consisted of Halibut, chervil roots, clam and wood blewits. The clam puree gave this dish a real boost. The final savoury course was Guinea hen, parsley root, salt baked turnip and yarrow. Very filling and heavy on the salt. Then it was a dessert of roasted pears, chestnuts and crispy cake. A very light dish with really sweet juicy pears.
After dessert we were presented with a small glass of Douglas Fir Milkshake, an unusual way to finish a meal but a nice change from petit fours.
We also asked the Sommelier to select glasses of matching wines, which gave us the chance to try some more unusual wines such as El Bandito – an orange wine from South Africa.
Roganic is unconventional, but all the better for it in my view and is certainly a good advertisement for L’Enclume. I really hope that after the lease ends in Marylebone that a new London premises is found. For more information on that, see Square Meal article – Roganic on the hunt for new Marylebone site.
UPDATE : Roganic to close on 20 June 2013 – see Square Meal article – No new site planned for Roganic