Rök Islington | 149 Upper Street, N1 1RA
Meal for three | £62 (including service)
Our original plan for the Sunday afternoon was to get Sunday Roast at the famed The Pig & The Butcher, but we were told the wait would be at least 1.5 hours (which turns out to be 2 hours in reality), so we decided to go for this Scandinavian restaurant listed on DOJO as doing “Expertly Cooked Meals”.
With its white-washed walls and wood-decked minimalism décor, Rök has a rather Nordic look and has an open kitchen behind all the dark wood tables. All of Rök’s meat is barbequed over fire in this smokehouse (I googled and Rök means “smoke” in Swedish).
Cabbage & chili pickles
Kicking off the meaty meal with cabbage & chili pickles that come in a little glass jar, is brightly sour and mildly spicy, and have a bizarre appearance. I found it yet a little too spicy for me, but my friends said it was just right and made them even hungrier.
Lamb with monk’s beard pesto and crispy kale
FINGER-LICKING GOOD. We suspected the lamb was slow-cooked to create this degree of tenderness, but it was barbequed crisp on the surface.
Pork with Granny Smith and sauerkraut
A piece of fatty pork belly seared until lightly charred on the outside, and tender inside with melting fat, topped with sauerkraut and slices of pickled Granny Smith (I LOVE APPLES <3). I am normally sceptical of pork dishes for being either too coarse/dry or too greasy, but this one is a pleasant surprise.
Duck with lingonberry bacon jam and chanterelle
Duck breast with lingonberry sauce (reminds me of IKEA) and chanterelle (a tasty type of mushroom). The layer of fat beneath the skin is still a little tough, but the zesty lingonberry sauce helps balancing it out. It is a good dish in general, but does not work as well as the lamb and the pork. I’d love to see how the combination is like if duck leg is used instead duck breast (or perhaps I am missing the duck confit burger I had the other day way too much).
Charred broccoli salad with seeds, almonds & quinoa
Simple, yet very interesting. We expected to have a burnt broccoli when we ordered the dish, but it was proved to us that burnt broccolis can make a good dish once with the correct combination. The charred broccoli has a hinge of smokiness yet remains fresh, and the sour salad dressing is appetising.
On the overall, a very good spot to have a good eat, especially when you can get a comfy seat without reservations on a Sunday afternoon…