Rok Islington | Scandinavian Restaurant
By Katie Hill
They either mean someone is calling for help using a truly ancient, time-honoured technique …or just having a really, really good BBQ.
In either case, you’ll want to head straight there.
And with Rok Smokehouse the message is clear. They may have adopted their cooking methods from bygone days – curing, brining, and smoking – but with the input of Executive Chef Matt Young and an unmistakably Scandinavian feel to it, it’s a contemporary take on Nordic dining.
Following in the successful footsteps of its Shoreditch sister, Rok Islington takes up residence on Upper Street in a Grade II listed building, which has been transformed into a wood-decked hunting lodge wrapped in white-walled Scandinavian minimalism.
Behind a freshly chopped wood- filled worktop sits the kitchen, open to the restaurant, which fills the space with not just atmosphere and the odd glimpse of fire but also that nostalgic smokey smell. Here’s what’s coming out of it:
Original Rok lovers will happily note the inclusion of scallops with ‘Nduja & British seaweed whilst seasonal fare keeps the menu fresh. You can’t go far wrong with a duck pate and don’t be nervous of the knäckebröd accompaniment (that’s just Swedish for ‘rye crisp bread’).
You’ll find all-original large dishes like pigeon accompanied by Jerusalem artichoke & Muscat grapes, or duck with lingonberry bacon jam. We’ll toast to that.
It’s hard to picture a dessert emerging from a wood burning kitchen, but emerge they do and with great aplomb. Fruit laden yet indulgent and hefty, birch syrup pudding with smoked beetroot ice cream sits on the menu alongside white chocolate ice cream with blood orange rhubarb jam.
No mixed signals here.
NOTE: Rok Islington is open now for lunch and dinner Monday to Sunday. You can book a table (for 7 people of fewer) by heading right HERE.
Rok Islington | 149 Upper Street, N1 1RA
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