Alexander Larman heads for Roganic in Marylebone and indulges in the full symphonic grandeur of chef Simon Rogan’s culinary art
Simon Rogan has a reputation for being a chef’s chef, and it isn’t hard to see why. Not for him the easy trappings of the three course à la carte, but instead Rogan offers a searching, penetrating journey into what food can (and perhaps should) taste like.
If this sounds off-puttingly intellectual, rest assured that his return to London with the resurrected Roganic (after a successful two-year stint as a pop up) is something very special indeed. Superb food, excellent service and a carefully thought-out concept makes for quite the thrilling experience.
Rogan (aided here by his excellent Head Chef Oliver Marlow and peerless GM James Foster, a veteran of L’Enclume) has constructed a regularly changing menu that can be had in three forms: an abbreviated lunchtime version, a six-course tasting version and finally the full behemoth.
It’s worth saving one’s pennies (£115 per head before wine) for the extended version, as that allows you to savour the full symphonic grandeur of Rogan’s culinary art. Just as one might expect to hear recurring leitmotifs in a great opera or concert, so fascinating ideas and concepts reappear throughout the meal.
Special mention must go to smoked raw beef in kohlrabi, but to be fair there is not a duff thing on the menu
Special mention must go to smoked raw beef in kohlrabi, a remarkable salt baked celeriac and burnt milk with blackcurrant and yoghurt, but to be fair there is not a duff thing on the menu.
This is food as theatre, or opera, and should be regarded as such. The chefs come out bearing the food, a nice touch that makes the whole experience seem more personal, and the more than able duo of sommeliers offer some fine pairings, including a memorable Austrian natural white wine and a beefy Barolo to accompany the duck.
If you want something simple, Roganic might not be for you, but if you’re excited by the possibilities of a great contemporary London restaurant, this is unmissable.
5-7 Blandford Street W1U 3DB; roganic.uk