Simon Rogan has three establishments in the picturesque Village of Cartmel. The most well known being the two Michelin star restaurant L’Enclume. On this occasion we dined in Rogan & Co, Simon’s second restaurant which provides diners an opportunity to sample fine dining food, using local ingredients.
As you enter the restaurant you immediately notice the room has a very relaxed feel and music plays softly in the background. The menu offers 3 courses for £40, and each dish on the list sounds delicious.
While we waited for our starters to arrive, we were presented with our Amuse Bouche. The first was a Westcombe cheese cracker, cheese snow and pickled onion. This was very light and tasty. The crunchy cracker gave texture and the snow melted in your mouth.
Westcombe Cheese Cracker
Our second Amuse Bouche was a cockle on seaweed jelly with coastal offerings! I was in two minds of this bite. My husband loved it but it left me undecided.
This was certainly not the case with my starter of ‘Seared Scallops with Roasted Cauliflower, Pickled Sea Fennel and Blueberry. I was in heaven! The scallops were juicy and plump. The roasted cauliflower gave the dish an earthy dimension which then complimented the drizzle of sweet blueberry sauce. The pickled sea fennel was new to me, but added freshness and texture. This was one of the best starters I have ever had.
To follow I opted for the ‘Cartmel Valley Venison Haunch with Almond Crumb, Pablo Beetroot and Redcurrant’. This again was another outstanding dish. The venison was succulent and melted in your mouth. The nutty crumb balanced the sweetness of the dish. The different textures of beetroot made every mouthful different and very moreish.
Cartmel Valley venison Haunch
As we were waiting for our deserts, we were surprised again with a ‘pre-desert’ of pineapple. This was zingy, creamy, sweet, crunchy and smooth all in one.
For my actual desert I had ‘Iced Yoghurt, Honeycomb, Granola and Bee’s Pollen’. The yoghurt was set just enough to be able to cut through with your spoon. The crumbled honeycomb was not too sticky or sweet and the granola added a crunchy texture to the dish. The bee’s pollen was very interesting and not in any way unpleasant.
Iced Yoghurt, Honeycomb
To finish off, we ended with a coffee and petit fours, a chocolate macaroon and a mini coconut donought.
When I asked the waiter why on earth this place doesn’t have a Michelin Star, he replied that the food is up to scratch but the service needs to improved. I would have to disagree. Head chef Kevin Tickle’s food is definitely at the highest level in flavour, taste and presentation. However the service was also faultless. Rogan & Co is an exceptional restaurant and deserves to be recognised for this.
Bill for two: £115 (including a bottle of wine)