Marie Claire's Caroline Garland heads to Mayfair for fine Pacific Rim cuisine
Me, me, me, let me do this one, the invitation to dine at à la carte Hawaiian restaurant Black Roe created a bit of a stir in the MC office, and yeeees it was my turn. Backed by Kurt Zdesar who played a pivatol role in establishing Nobu as the world’s most successful restaurant group before moving on to develop everyone’s favourite dumpling drop-in Ping Pong.
As you arrive the window to Black Roe isn’t dissimilar to the jeweled boutiques in surrounding streets with the incredible array of raw fish, oysters, clams, lobster all sitting on crushed ice alongside colourful dishes of marinade. The Poke bar is positioned at the entrance where you can reassuringly see an expert chef preparing dishes.
When you step inside the room has a seductive elegance with dark teal seats on one side and a deep red on the other. A huge bouquet of flowers breaks up the huge black and white portraits of all the fish mongers the restaurant sources their ingredients from. It feels very grown up and possible expensive but when you look at the menu it’s really affordable, dishes range from £6.50 for a vegetable poke to £29.95 for the whole lobster “mac ‘n’ cheese”.
Our friendly waiter showed us to our table and explained the menu and as we sipped a glass of Rodrigo Mendez Cies Albarino (£6 for a 75ml glass), a delicate citrus white wine, good to ponder over menu and perfect with fish.
To start we went for the Scallop Poke with sriracha citrus salsa (£8.95) and the Yellowtail Poke with spicy garlic salsa (£8.95). Each bowl arrived looking so beautifully dressed, the scallops and tuna diced into tiny cubes alongside equally sized cubes of crunchy nashi pear sitting on a bed of seasoned short grained rice. The salsa’s gave each dish it’s unique vibrancy, topped with black tobiko (a type of roe) and flowers. I’ve never had Poke before, it’s so intricate, light and delicious and has literally raced up to the top f my favs list.
Next up we had Prawn Tempura with coriander salsa and truffle aioli (£13.50), crispy, delicate and juicy, and one of the specials of the day Seared Tuna with a creamy garlic and piquillio pepper sauce. Presentation is obviously as important as taste here, eyes popped and taste buds more than satisfied, both dishes light, delicious and perfectly seasoned.
One last dish couldn’t be resisted – the Whole Lobster “Mac ‘n’ Cheese” (£29.95 to share). It was every bit as decadent and rich as it sounds, a slow paced eat, picking out large chunks of lobster topped with oozing cheesy pasta, it’s comfort food extraordinaire, all troubles dissolved in a mouthful.
Lastly and quite literally bursting we sweetened our palette with Yuzu (Japanese lemon) ice-cream (£5.95 for two scoops), fragrant and luckily with the cooling ability to bring us back to life for the journey home.
If ever you want to try fine Pacific Rim cuisine Black Roe is exactly where you should go. It’s fresh, new, creative and affordable, book a table now!
4 Mill Street Mayfair London
Whatsapp Reservations: +44 (0) 746985 0217
Phone Reservations: +44 (0)20 3794 8448