Bar with great food, restaurant with great drinks – call it what you want, but one thing’s for sure, Bar Rogue is flipping the script on bar cooking, with a gun young chef at the helm.
Bar Rogue, from the team behind rocking French(ish) bistro Le Rebelle, is packed with good decisions. There’s the design, which puts communal tables up back and a bar plus two-tops plus a couple of lounges for perching up front, with an oversized basket chandelier a gnarly focal point. There’s the soundtrack, an alternative smash of Sonic Youth, LCD Soundsystem, The Saints and TV on the Radio. And there’s the wine list, which packs large chardonnay, pinot and skinsy sections with on- and off-piste bottles from near and far, then adds some fancy stuff around the edges.
Smart, well executed, good with a drink, and above all delicious – and that’s before you get to plates like honey-scented beetroot in manchego cream.
But the best move, surely, has been putting Sofika Boulton in the kitchen, who, with a steer from chef and co-owner Liam Atkinson, is running the tightest drinking menu in town. Fried wonton wrappers, say, stuffed with prawn, lobster and avocado bound with mayonnaise then topped with togarashi. Or roti-turned-cheese-on-toast, loaded with coriander and fennel seeds. Or soft tea-party finger sandwiches filled with crisp chicken skin, cucumber and house feta then dusted with cucumber skin.
Smart, well executed, good with a drink, and above all delicious – and that’s before you get to plates like honey-scented beetroot in manchego cream, a pork chop with apple miso or excellent fried chicken. Rogue? More like right on.