Opened back in March 2016, we thought it was time to head back to Mayfair’s Black Roe Poke Bar & Grill to see what’s changed.
We’re all familiar with casual lunchtime bowls of poke by now, but there are few restaurants bringing a slice of fine Pacific Rim cuisine to London. In fact, Black Roe is one of the only restaurants we can think of who are! The intimate restaurant is backed by Kurt Zdesar, the owner of the successful Chotto Matte in Soho and Fucina in Marylebone and well-respected chef Jordan Sclare is heading up the kitchen – so rest assured, they know what they’re doing.
You’ll spot the poke bar before you’ve even got through the door, they keep the fish on ice in the window of the restaurant, which is enough to tempt anyone in. Out back you’ll find the golden lit bar and in between the two is the dark, sexy dining room, adorned with faux flowers hanging from the ceiling and a pink neon sign telling us to ‘enjoy the silence’. We took a seat on the green leather banquette, and noticed that they have indeed turned the music down a touch since we last visited (which is definitely a good move).
Super attentive staff talked us through the new menu. You can still order from the a la carte section, but there are now a few tasting options to choose from which might help those that want to try a good selection but don’t really know where to begin (most of us then?).
There are three to choose from, priced at £38 (Vegetarian), £50 and £60 – in the name of research we went for the last one which obviously covers more dishes (and then added the sweet & sour crisp kalua hock because we had been told we MUST try it and boy are we glad we did!)
You’ll begin with a decent portion of yellowtail poke each (what else!). The bowls are beautifully presented, with perfectly marinated chunks of fish hidden under coconut shavings, edamame, carrot and pineapple. Next up was a sharing platter of tuna tataki (named after the sound the thinly sliced meat makes when you quickly sear it in a hot pan). Each piece had been drizzled in a smoky pepper and aubergine sauce – yum! Beef tataki came next, obviously cooked in the same way but this time paired with sun blushed tomatoes and delicate parmesan crisps.
Moving onto more substantial mains, we alternated between pieces of Cajun spiced blackened sea bass with pineapple salsa and sticky barbecued lamb ribs. All the dishes had such interesting layers of flavour, with plenty of herbs and spices used from across the globe, but never did it blow our head off. It’s great sharing food, in a super sociable setting – take the girls or a hot date.
Desserts included a fruity sorbet and dipping sponge fingers – leaving us perfectly content, without having to roll all the way home.
We don’t think there’s really anywhere doing what Black Roe are doing, and we’re big fans.