A Bit Casual Eating Out London

Rök, Shoreditch

March 3, 2016

I hate going to Shoreditch. There, I said it, you can go ahead and crucify me but I’m not taking it back. It’s just not really my cup of tea. I’m not one of those ‘creative types’, I don’t have a thing for organic, fair trade, no one died in the making of this brew coffee because I don’t actually drink the stuff, and I most certainly do not have a beard. I’d rather not be a cool kid and continue rooting for Tooting any day, though I have heard our little part of London has be called the new Shoreditch once or twice!

Cliches aside, I hate traipsing over to hipsterville because getting from my ‘new’ Shoreditch to the current version is just a bit of a pain. The Overground and I are not exactly friends after the trials and tribulations of commuting to Hackney Central everyday, and I’m not overly fond of those big red vehicles either. This is why it pains me to hear of new restaurants opening there all the time; however, what really irks me is if they survive the opening hype and turn out to be quite good. Like Rök.

Being an Instagram addict I had seen all the mouthwatering shots of Rök’s Nordic smokehouse style dishes although being a little anti-Shoreditch meant I was skeptical. But still curious; enough to jump at the chance to pay them a visit when Alexandra suggested it as the spot for our dinner date… I can be so easily swayed by the hope of great food.

We didn’t book a table but I would recommend you do, the bar is an option but not a particularly comfortable one… I don’t mind sitting on a backless stool but I do appreciate having enough room for my legs under the bar so I don’t have to sit sideways and lean over a lot. Right, glad I got that off my chest, I’m a lot nicer about what we ate, and the service. Our waitress was lovely, and I liked that she was very thorough when explaining the menu, but I’m grateful it was a short menu.

We both started with one of their nduja scotch quails eggs which still had sufficiently oozy yolks and a fantastic smokey spice kick from the nduja, a kind of chorizo paste type thing which I am really loving since devouring a whole block of it recently. They also serve it with their scallops which I was very tempted by but held back from as they were £6 a pop – another time perhaps.

Nduja scotch egg from Rok in Shoreditch.

The rest of our dishes arrived soon after; from the meats we opted for the lamb with monks beard puree, and went for all but one of the vegetable sides. The lamb was perfectly pink and tender as expected, but in a rare turn of events for me, I thought the vegetable dishes stole the show. Well the broccoli and cauliflower did; the burnt sweet potato with horseradish creme fraiche was a bit more ho-hum but that’s still fairly high praise considering I’m not a fan of them.

I really do love broccoli and cauliflower, no really, I do… I’d eat one or both everyday if a certain someone let me so the charred broccoli salad with pumpkin seeds, toasted almonds, sesame seeds and quinoa, along with the cauliflower cheese with beef dust and almonds, were dishes that really screamed out to me. Neither disappointed – the cauliflower smothered with creamy cheese sauce was so comforting while on the opposite end of the spectrum the nutty broccoli salad felt a little healthy?! I blame the quinoa and its superfood connotations.

We could have stopped there but it seemed silly given we still had plenty to yarn about and there were only two desserts on the menu which made ordering rather easy – one of each thanks. I thought I would love the birch and chocolate pudding with charcoal beetroot icecream but I didn’t; the pudding itself was nice but for me, completely overpowered by the beetroot. The poached pear however, I really liked; the pear itself was perfectly cooked through but still had bite and I even surprised myself again by how much I liked the cardamon custard – definitely a dish worthy of a recreation attempt at home!

I hate to admit it but Rök won me over; Shoreditch – 1, Connie – 0. I thought the dishes were well conceived and well executed, which in the age of over the top and bizarre flavour combinations, is not an achievement to be sneezed at! The restaurant itself had a pleasantly busy buzz and the staff were friendly and helpful… worth dragging myself all the way there for. But if they’d like to open a branch in ‘new’ Shoreditch, I’d be very much obliged.

Are you going to crucify me for being unreasonable about going to Shoreditch? Or shall we just talk about the food at Rök? Or both.

Rök Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Square Meal

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  • Kasha Dubaniewicz

    Haha, I love the Shoreditch confession – we’re all supposed to be head over heels in love with the place as Londoners, aren’t we? 😉

    Rok looks like an awesome spot – those nduja scotch eggs look amazing! I’ll definitely need to venture out here xxx

    • Apparently so but I just don’t really get it… I have friends who live there, and they just won’t go anywhere else in London! It’s a lovely spot – I was pleasantly surprised with the food! xx

  • Looks like it was worth the trek to Shoreditch 😉

  • I love Shoreditch and am deffoes no hipster, haha!!! Rok is somewhere I really want to go with its Scandi background, and your food sounds so yummy. Nothing beats vegetables done right! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

    • Hahaha are you sure… I soo, got that hipster vibe from you… not! Oh goodness, I loved the vegetables!

  • Vi Vian

    I have recently just learn to love cauliflower again. I didn’t dislike it, just didn’t choose to buy it. So, what are the chances that I would actually order it from the restaurant, right? This looks amazing and I have not heard about this place seeing that I live in East London. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • You fell out of love with cauliflower?! But seriously, I know loads of people who don’t like it and I just cannot understand why lol.

      • Vi Vian

        I didn’t fell out coz I didn’t think I fell in – lol. I am now 🙂

  • That whole meal sounds delicious! I’d love to try that chocolate dessert. I recently had beet sorbet and enjoyed it, so I wonder what it’d be like on cake.

    • Pleased to have found a beet sorbet lover – it wasn’t for me but no doubt loads of people share your opinion otherwise I doubt it would have lasted on the menu for long! It was a lovely place to catch up with a friend!

  • I love poached pears, but cardamon custard sounds divine!! My kind of dessert. I love Shoreditch (except on a Friday night) Can we still be friends!?

    • Of course we can still be friends! My only beef with it is really that it’s a pain to get to and back from home but there are too many decent restaurants there to completely avoid lol! The peach was fantastic!!!

  • I like Shoreditch, but I get what you mean about the connotation it gets these days.

    I’m with you on cauliflower though! x

    Honey x The Girl Next Shore

    • Haha I know, I was being a little cheeky about it… it’s not that bad really – just a pain to get to for me! Yes – a fellow cauliflower lover xx

  • Having lived in your London neck of the woods (Balham, Tooting and Clapham) back in the day, I used to feel the same about Shoreditch – too difficult to get to and far too try-hard! However, I think when we return to London it’ll be quite hard to avoid it simply because of the sheer number of amazing new restaurants like this that are popping up here. I love it when a restaurant challenges your previous perceptions of a place. The food sounds and looks gorgeous 🙂

    Polly xx

    • Oh I love that you used to live in our hood – so many lovely little places in Tooting now 🙂
      Yep, Shoreditch is completely unavoidable… as much as I would like to, there was way to many scrummy spots to visit!

  • I too love it when people die in the making of coffee that I don’t actually drink XD
    In all seriousness though, I love Shoreditch I just don’t love the Shoreditch commute. It is on the route to work though, so I just restrict my Shoreditch time to weekday nights and no weekend east ending for me!

    • Ok perhaps I was getting a little dramatic with the dying part but those coffee junkies take their cuppa pretty seriously don’t they?! Well that sounds like a fair compromise – very adult!

  • Perry Rambarran

    food looks awesome. Definitely added to the restaurant list.

    • I’ve had some people tell me they didn’t rate it so it’s not for everyone but I thought it was simple food, done well which is always fine in my book!

  • I try and avoid Shoreditch too, it’s just that I keep darn well getting dragged there…

    • Same! I’m almost resigned to think that resistance is futile!

  • Charcoal beetroot ice cream looks different! I really like Shoreditch but it’s quite easy for me to get to. I have friends in Tooting and there are some nice brunch places they’ve been raving about

    • It was a little too different for me but there must be some people out there who like it! Ohh yes, there are a couple I’ve been meaning to visit – Mud and Brickwood!

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