Rocket, MayfairPosted in Where to Eat & Drink Now
Take a break from the manic stress of Oxford Street and discover the cobbled streets of Lancashire Court.
If you weren’t aware of Rocket’s Mayfair branch before traipsing around the pavements of central London, this could be news to you because you’ll never find it without a map. Stylish venues tend to be partial to discreet locations and Rocket, Mayfair is no exception.
Lancashire Court is accessible through a pedestrian alleyway that’s as allusive as a double-sided coin but is accessible from Brook Street, Brook Mews or New Bond Street. Bond Street or Oxford Circus are the nearest tube stations and about a ten minute walk in the right direction from this continental-inspired eatery.
Above: The Entrance Of Rocket, Mayfair
Although many worship the bar at Rocket, perhaps it’s about time people started to take notice of the diverse dishes and modestly priced food at this underestimated venue. Granted the narrow pathways do become clogged with suits after the hours of 9pm but that needn’t concern you if you’re seated in the upstairs restaurant, surveying the evening’s antics.
Above: The Outside Terrace @ Rocket, Mayfair Is Set Out On A Quaint Cobbled Street
A complimentary platter of juicy olives is set out on the table to greet diners before they order; a very considerate touch in a city driven by profit making. Velveteen chairs, tea-lights and murals combine to create a casual ambience where confabulation is not constipated by ostentatious decor. Judging by the racks of wine that envelope the walls like bookshelves it’s safe to assume that wine at Rocket is much more than a bottle with a price tag; it’s a lifestyle.
Above: The Wine Wall @ Rocket, Mayfair
I tried my best to time my olive consumption to perfection, making sure to pop each succulent morsel into my mouth when conversation was not expected of me. I have a love-hate relationship with non-pitted olives; their flavour may be enhanced by maintaining their seed but having to wrestle the pip between my teeth without embarrassment can sometimes prove tricky. Thus is life. Either way, my Vegetarian Friend and I ordered some wine.
The waitress duly delivered a bottle of 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, La Paz from Chile to our table in an ice bucket. Priced at a reasonable £17 for a bottle, this striking Chilean is crisp, dry, and fruity; an ideal accompaniment to olives and my intentions of eating fish.
Above: The Private Dining Area @ Rocket, Mayfair
We were unanimous in our decision for starters. Drinking a dry white wine on a hot summers’ night meant the goats’ cheese and spicy pecan salad with a blueberry and sherry vinegar dressing was sure to accentuate that fresh zing that has become synonymous with the hotter months.
We tucked in. The sherry sauce was an inventive alternative to lathering everything in balsamic vinegar and worked in harmony with the bold tanginess of the goats’ cheese; topped off by a glass of crisp Chilean.
Don’t think for one minute that just because you’re tucked away from the palaver downstairs that the restaurant will lack an all important buzz; chitter-chatter and the clink of glasses fill the air. There’s also an open kitchen so it’s possible to watch all the neo-hunter-gatherer action while you dip in out of your conversation.
Above: Velveteen Chairs And Complimentary Olives @ Rocket, Mayfair
The mains are dependent upon the seasons, meaning that all the ingredients are fresh and in tune with our senses. The specials in Rocket, Mayfair are fairly innovative. I tried the tandoori marinated salmon fillet and turmeric basmati rice with green beans, carrots and okra tempura and was pleasantly surprised by the presentation and use of colour in the dish. The contrast between the rubicund of the salmon and the saffron basmati rice ensured the food didn’t just excite my salivary glands but also had that aesthetic swagger you expect of meals in the capital.
Above: A Smoked Chicken Salad @ Rocket.
I can smell a good cheesecake from miles away, seriously it’s like blood to shark. So when I learnt of the dessert on offer I almost wet myself with anticipation; ricotta cheese, pistachio and Turkish delight semifreddo. Again, this treat was part of the specials menu and was worth every penny of the £5 fee. Portion sizes are reasonable; there are no preposterously tiny dishes that utilise elegance as a smokescreen for their inability to feed a human being.
Rocket Mayfair in nutshell? The epitome of smart casual.
Expect to pay around £24 for a starter, main and dessert. (Excluding drinks)
Top Tip: If you fancy a quiet meal and a natter with your friend why not head down a little earlier than 9pm? Take time out to book a table for 6pm and acclimatize to the buzz of Mayfair as the night wears on.
4 Lancashire Court,
London, W1S 1EY