A few years ago I made the pilgrimage up to the Lake District to experience Simon Rogan’s flagship eatery. L’Enclume is a very special destination restaurant that champions seasonal garden produce and presents diners with a thoughtful multi-course meal. Needless to say, it was one of my most memorable food adventures ever.
And so, when it was announced that Roganic would be returning to London (it had a 2 year residency as a pop-up a couple of years ago), I was extremely excited. Simon Rogan’s cooking style is inventive, sustainable and utterly delicious… his presentation and innovation stands out amongst London’s other fine dining establishments.
Roganic is found on Blandford Street in the heart of Marylebone. The dining room is dinky with white linen-covered tables, burnt orange leather banquettes and arty Tom Raffield light shades. Considering the space on offer, they’ve made the most of it, although it is quite treacherous getting down the tight spiral staircase to the toilets after multiple courses and a lengthy wine flight.
There is an 18 course full tasting menu, a shorter 10 course option, or if you want a brief lunch experience, 3 courses for £40 (with a few extras). I’ve now visited Roganic three times, the lunch menu is perfectly light and illustrates the essence of the tasting menu, but Rogan’s full talent is truly on show in the full tasting menu.
Magenta pink preserved raspberry tart and fermented beetroot and apple provided a punchy start to the meal, earthy in tone, bright in colour and light in texture.
After a few more immaculate mouthfuls we moved on to the slightly larger plates. I adored the onion broth with westcombe cheddar, soft and pillowy cheese dumplings floating in a comforting warm onion water, it was delicate and exquisite. Also brilliant was the asparagus cooked in bone marrow with leek ash and creamy hollandaise sauce. Although simple in appearance, I was aware that a lot of care and attention had gone into these tiny morsels.
I have tried the Salt baked celeriac with enoki and lovage three times now, as it is one of the few dishes that has remained on the menu since opening. This unusual recipe still thrills, a sweet and malty assortment of flavours, with contrast of textures of tastes.
21 day dry aged cumbrian pork is a reminder of L’Enclume. Using premium Lake District produce, Rogan elevates the pork with an intense carrot puree and a rich and glossy jus.
Before each course arrived the sommelier visited us with an expert wine suggestion. I could only manage a sip of each wine, but was continually amazed by the clever pairings and interesting stories we were told about each wine’s vintage, vineyard and grape variety.
Save space for the desserts on the tasting menu… the pastry section of the kitchen flourish at Roganic, producing desserts that are full of flair and new ideas. A small wooden bowl of creamy ice crumbs revealed a bright pink rhubarb sweet stew, which combined perfectly with the icy buttermilk.
Then we moved on to Burnt milk with chamomile and whey. The burnt milk crisp has a caramelised taste, while the ice cream has a herbaceous depth and a touch of sweetness… it is a match made in heaven.
At Roganic the best is left till last, when a jolly chef presents a caramelised apple & douglas fir ice-cream. The taste is similar to a tarte tatin with a woodland flavoured ice-cream that you’d expect to find in a Scandi restaurant. The apple has been peeled with a mandolin and reconstructed again to look like an apple; each of the wafer thin apple slices is divinely sticky and sweet. We marvelled at the artistry in silence whilst gobbling up every last mouthful.
Roganic truly excels at every part of the dining experience, the service is friendly and professional, the atmosphere is hushed but has a definite warmth. You feel lucky sitting in the restaurant, and I got the impression that, unlike many of Marylebone’s plain posh restaurants, everyone sitting in Roganic really, really wanted to be here.
After our epic 18 course lunch we left Roganic full and inspired, with a goodie bag of scones and jam, in case we needed a snack that evening. The team at Roganic have thought of everything.
More information and book a table at Roganic here.