Hawaiian sibling to Chotto Matte serving up pokē.
I know what you’re thinking. Hawaiian-inspired restaurant equals hula girls in grass skirts and coconut bras. But at Black Roe, the vibe is swanky Asian fusion (don’t forget, a large proportion of Hawaii’s population are of Japanese descent) – all sexy dark woods, flattering lighting and chilled tunes. As for the people: sharp suits, girls with expensive hair. This is a place to pose. Hardly surprising, considering it’s from Kurt Zdesar, the brains behind see-and-be-seen sushi hangout Chotto Matte.
But while that joint balances slick style with culinary substance, Black Roe’s kitchen has some work to do. There’s no faulting the idea of serving pokē, a seasoned ‘tartare’ (it means ‘to cut’) of fish, meat or occasionally veg, as a signature. But the execution is off. Pokē can be served with or without rice; here, it’s the ‘served-over-rice’, eye-on-the-profit margin version. Fair enough. But it needed restraint: I tried four kinds and each saw the high-quality protein clobbered by a different kind of unnecessarily overbearing sauce. Other dishes were better: succulent monkfish and tiger prawns on a puddle of citrus salsa, or pink-middle lamb chops with an intriguing coconut crust. But dessert: two scoops of watery, sweet-but-not-fragrant ‘cherry’ sorbet, was a final disappointment. Factor in the 20-minute wait for the bill and absence of service (we weren’t offered fresh drinks once) and it’s a black mark for Black Roe, sadly.
Black Roe's crowning glory is the poke bar at the front of the restaurant, where an expert chef serves up raw fish with a Pacific slant alongside other fresh seafood and oysters. Poke takes centre stage, a Hawaiian marinated raw fish dish with fresh, exotic flavours.
The grill serves sustainable meats cooked on a Kiawe wood grill. Cocktails and a wide selection of wines by the glass are also served at the relaxed bar.
Downstairs feature is a large chef's table for up to 20 guests that leads into the centre of the open kitchen and is lined by tanks filled with the freshest live seafood.
The intimate restaurant is backed by Kurt Zdesar owner of the successful Chotto Matte in Soho. The 60-seat restaurant features moody grey walls and distressed luxury touches such as worn wood and leather.
|Venue name:||Black Roe||Contact:|
4 Mill St
|Transport:||Tube : Oxford Circus|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £140|
|Do you own this business?|
You may be interested in:
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Woah the TimeOut reviewer sounds like they were having a terrible day. Our experience could not have been more different. Everything was full of flavour and balance. The said poke had the right balance of freshness from the fish and zest from the citrus dressing. We loved it and the service was attentive and friendly. Price as though but I guess that's the price for the area.
incredible!! Actually i will be more accurate- the poke is incredible alone with the site. The rest of the menu isn't good but the poke carries it! Incredible
It's the first time i try Poke and it wont be the last! This place is a proper destination for lunch. I paid on 23.50 and got a 3 course meal. Working in the area I am hard pushed to find anywhere else offering the same standard of amazingness at that price!
Defo recommend. Going back for dinner soon! (p.s pic from their Instagram because i forgot to take a photo!).