If you’ve ever been to Chotto Matte you must have been as excited as me to hear that Kurt Zdesar just opened a sister restaurant called Black Roe. Chotto Matte is definitely one of my favourite restaurants in London so the bar had been set very high. I had signed up to their mailing list so when I saw a 50% off soft launch deal I jumped on it.
Black Roe brings something new to the London food scene, how often do you come across Hawaiian inspired cuisine and have you ever tried Poke salad? The interior is quite underground yet modern with cosy dimmed lights. We were seated in the booth area for 3 and I’d like to just add how comfortable the seating was.
Given the soft launch deal our stomachs were ready to try everything on the menu, so here we go. We ordered a Poke tasting platter (£10.95) with seabass, tuna and yellowtail. The only way I can think to describe it is mixed sushi salad on a plate without the seaweed, all were delicious! The prawn tempura dish (£13.50) was one of my favourites. They were drenched in really flavoursome coriander salsa and truffle aioli. Lastly we tried the Oysters Au Gratin (£3) drenched in strong melted cheese. The cheese was really tasty but somehow the combination didn’t work for me.
From the mains we tried Lobster Mac & Cheese (£29.95) which was tasty and perfect texture. Similar to the oysters it was very cheesy as you’d expect but with the lack of lobster meat it felt kind of overpowering and made it into any average Mac & Cheese. The Bison Rib Eye Steak (£34.95) with fennel & tomato confit and yuzu soy hollandaise was perfect in terms of flavour but not texture. I had a good jaw workout trying to chew so that was rather disappointment considering it’s the most pricy dish on the menu. Lastly we had the Octopus Aioli (£9.95) in chilli salsa and coriander. My friend who is an octopus fan gave a big thumbs up of approval on this dish. I’m personally not a big fan of the fish itself.
Despite all this feasting we still had room for a dessert to share and went straight for the biggest one, Shake & Bake (£12). You know I love desserts so I hate to say that it really wasn’t up to standard of the restaurant. It felt like a combination of too many random things thrown into one bowl. I’m talking marshmallows, bitter toffee popcorn, coconut, nuts and chocolate. It was just a complete mess, literally. I did look delicious though!
Summary: Being a big fan of Chotto Matte I had high hopes for Black Roe – some dishes delivered and others did not. Despite the letdown on the main courses and dessert, I’d return for the Poke and appetisers. The service was nice and attentive without being in your face. Note that the service charge is 15% instead of 12.5% but as always it’s discretionary. The menu can be found here.