Working Lunch: Want to try Simon Rogan’s cooking without traipsing up north? We give the four course Business Lunch at Roganic a try
5-7 Blandford Street, W1U
WHAT AND WHERE? Every food enthusiast worth their salted butter will have heard of L’Enclume, Simon Rogan’s two Michelin-starred restaurant in Cumbria. If you want to ascribe to his ultra-seasonal, foraged philosophy without leaving London, you can try and get into Aulis, his eight-seater chef’s table in Soho, but you’ll have better luck at Roganic. It started life as a pop-up in 2011, but is now a fixture on Marylebone’s Blandford Street, winning one Michelin star after 10 months.
WHAT SHOULD I ORDER? When you’re in the hands of a chef as skilled as Rogan, you just let him feed you. That’s why there are three tasting menus on offer; a 10 course, six course and four course lunch. All you have to decide is how long you want to eat for; lunchtime, the whole afternoon or until the sun goes down. We went for the shortest one, the Business Lunch, for £38pp.
BUT WHAT WILL I BE EATING? Dishes change weekly, give or take a fortnight, depending on what’s in season and broken down into three ingredients on the menu. Our starter was cryptically described as “blackberry, apple, anise”, but turned out to be a bite-size blackberry tart with a shot of aniseedy apple juice on the side. Sticky and flavourful, it was haute cuisine meets Haribo Tangfastics. Chunks of salt-baked celeriac followed, dotted with malty blobs. A single slice of Cumbrian beef came after, with fragrant charred onion, sweet parsnip puree and a sickly pot of mash on the side. Dessert brought things to a traditional but pleasing end, though, with segments of rhubarb and plump buttermilk mousse delicately spiked with Earl Grey.
THE VERDICT Small sharing plates may be trendy right now, but they take up as much conversational space as table space. Roganic is perfect for avoiding the ‘I don’t mind, reallys’ while showcasing the best of modern British cuisine. Plus there’s a bespoke wine on offer from Exton Park vineyards in Hampshire, who have teamed up with Rogan to create a desert-dry sparkling rose that isn’t available anywhere else.
AND ANOTHER THING… Forget Brexit stockpiling; judging by the gruesome wall of pickled veg in jars, there’ll be plenty to eat at Roganic on 29 March.
020 3370 6260 / roganic.uk