Black Roe

Restaurants, Hawaiian Mayfair
  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
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Black Roe
Venue says London's first poke bar and grill. Pacific Rim cuisine located in Mayfair.

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.

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Black Roe says
Black Roe, in the heart of Mayfair, brings the finest Pacific Rim cuisine.

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.
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By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Black Roe
Contact:
Address: 4 Mill St
London
W1S 2AX
Transport: Tube : Oxford Circus
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £140
Do you own this business?
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

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Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|7
1 person listening

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.

tastemaker

People have mixed feelings about this place, but I'm not sure why - I really like it. The restaurant is quite buzzy (would be good for a group dinner) and the food is always a winner - the oysters au gratin, the poke and don't forget the obligatory pisco sour! 


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 

Tastemaker

Definitely my new favorite spot in West End, Black Roe delivers with its ambiance and food. This Hawaiian dish called Poke is served here with generous amounts of fish served over a big bowl of rice and vegetables. Cocktails come in funky Tiki cocktail jars and they are incredibly hard to resist. Perfect for a date night or a get together with friends.

Tastemaker

With no prior experience with Pacific/Hawaiian cuisine, I was interested to see what Black Roe would have to offer and I was certainly not disappointed. Black Roe fuses Japanese influence with tropical flavours to create a unique and delicious dining experience in a super cool setting in the heart of Mayfair.

Neon lights, candles, and thumping music; Black Roe has a great vibe for a weekend dinner and with friendly and informative staff, you are in good hands. But of course, none of this matters if the food doesn’t deliver, which thankfully it does in buckets. Their signature dish, Poke, which comes in a variety of versions, including tuna, steak and scallop, is delicious; a delicate balance of flavours with meat which is cooked or marinated to perfection. The poke station is also a feature of the restaurant, and it is brilliant to see these super-skilled chefs create these dishes with such care and respect before they reach their table- you know it’s as fresh as it can get!

Other standout dishes include the smoky lamb rack which is finger-licking juicy, with a blackened, tasty skin and the monkfish and tiger prawns which are sweet and tender. This is an ‘order all and share’ type of place and with the dishes being quite small you do need to order a fair amount to fulfil your tummy’s needs. This can get pretty pricey, but the quality of the food and the location lends itself to this type of bill. The cocktails, both alcoholic and sin-free, were beautifully created, both from a visual and tastebud perspective. Similarly to other restaurants from the Kurt Zdesar family (the master behind Nobu and Chotto Matte), this little gem is here to stay.


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!).

Tastemaker

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE!  The food at Black Roe is amazing, the service is almost even better, I am not sure how that is even possible! We went for a set late lunch on a Saturday afternoon and the restaurant was about half full but still buzzy.  The hostess greeted us immediately and we were shown to our table.  The set lunch menu is great value, you have a choice of starters and then a selection platter for main.  We chose two of the different Poke to start (the restaurants speciality) and were not disappointed. The main platter is big! Far more than I was expecting with lobster, ahi, chicken and bass all on there with rice and veg.  We finished off with the pannacotta and chocolate desserts, both divine. We walked away full and satisfied without being stuffed! Throughout the whole meal the staff were around without being intrusive, they were very knowledgeable on the dishes and the ingredients used and happy to offer recommendations. I will definitely be returning again soon!