According to the blurb on its website, ‘Rocket Restaurants & Bars offer a perfect retreat from the busy city lifestyle;’ as I battled my way through post –work commuters on route to Rocket, I would say that this was a fair summation.
From the outside there is nothing that sets Rocket apart from its neighbouring restaurants, however after descending the stairs into the cocktail bar and restaurant you are suddenly confronted with the sheer size – this is a lot of restaurant!
My handsome friend René was already seated on a large table which could comfortably sit four. The evening we dined there was Valentine’s eve, yet, despite it being a Friday the restaurant was conspicuously quiet (for Holborn) – I can only put this down to the fact that hordes of love –struck couples had decided to save their coins for the following evenings’ commercial excess.
We began the evening with cocktails – faced with an array of choices, we were fortunate to have Daniel, our cordial waiter, on hand, to dispense suggestions; Eastern Blyss for René – Absolut Citron, Chambord, lychee purée, lime juice, sugar & apple juice topped with lemonade and a Spice Girl for me – Cherry Heering, Mandarin Napoleon, Grand Marnier, stem ginger syrup, lemon juice & cream soda, topped off with a hard –boiled sweet which was emblazoned with the Rocket emblem.
For starters René chose Fishcakes: Crab & potato cakes served with mango ribbon, red chilli & coriander salsa. I opted for the Panko Crumb & Coconut King Prawns: accompanied with warm green & yellow zucchini ribbons, red chilli & mango dressing.
René described his fishcakes as a tad ‘tepid,’ I could not fault my prawns; the crumbs were crispy with a delectable crunch and the coconut was perfectly balanced.
René opted for the notorious Rare Beef & Chip Salad, one of Rocket’s well -known dishes, which comprise of: rocket, green beans, red onion, radishes, crispy garlic, fried chilli, black bean dressing & ginger-mustard mayonnaise. Despite thoroughly enjoying this signature dish, René struggled to finish his impressive food mountain.
My main of choice was the Toasted Sesame Coated Tuna Steak served with: a warm salad of green beans, broccoli, courgettes & red chilli drizzled with wasabi mayonnaise and a side dish of Zucchini Tempura Chips. My tuna was delicious; the toasted sesame seeds provided this fish with an intense nutty flavour and great texture which perfectly complemented the moist centre.
After a brief pause we decided to peruse the dessert menu; a palate cleansing Mango Sorbet for René and the Pecan & Treacle Tart served warm with vanilla ice cream for me, which was sweet but not tooth achingly sweet, however I was pretty full at this stage and struggled slightly with the pastry which was a little heavy – on reflection I should have opted light like René and gone for the sorbet.
We both enjoyed our visit to Rocket –René’s office is conveniently close and not one to be defeated, he is planning a repeat visit to actually finish the Rare Beef & Chip Salad.
Price: £107.20 (excluding service) this included three cocktails and very generous food portions.
Service: Very good, Daniel provided great service; he was attentive and demonstrated a good understanding of the vast menu.
Ambience: It was quiet and very relaxing, bearing in mind that it was unusually quiet, not sure what it is like when busy.
Bathroom: 5/5 Clean and functional.
For bookings and further information please visit: www.rocketrestaurants.co.uk