Nestled on Kew Road, Richmond, is dining spot and cocktail bar, Rock & Rose. Integrating gourmet food with glamour, chic and style, the Rock & Rose dining experience is quintessential for those yearning for that Friday Feeling at any time of the week.
Rock & Rose knows no boundaries when it comes to serving sophistication, luxury and simply great food. Oozing charm and charisma is a seemingly effortless trait of this quirky little venue, and as we step inside, we are rest assured that absolutely everyone is having the time of their lives on a Wednesday night. Immediately we are welcomed in not only by the manager, who is more than happy to have us joining the party, but by an astonishingly uplifting atmosphere and a vibe from all other guests that tells us that this is the place to be.
It has to be said that the atmosphere, however warm, is not the first aspect that strikes you upon arriving. The decor, with walls adorned with rose prints and canvases, extravagant flowers acting as centre pieces and neon light signage adding a night-out-on-the-town vibe, creates an aesthetic that adds the rock and roll to the Rock & Rose. The seating is plush, the bar is bustling and even the table designs add a little extra something to ensure that you feel like royalty for the night. In short, the furnishings of this place really are something special, proving that it pays to give good attention to detail.
The bartender, a lively chap who is clearly enjoying the evening’s proceedings just as much as his thirsty guests, takes to recommending the Long Island Ice Tea cocktail with a twist – instead of cola, he’s going to make it with egg whites. “It gives it a real creamy texture – you’re going to love it.” Never one to turn down a recommendation, we give it a spin. Sure enough, the marvellous mixologist is correct – it’s delicious. It’s always a positive to be tended to by someone willing to give your visit a unique edge.
Our waiter seats us at a table slab-bang in the middle of the shenanigans. It’s busy, but not in an overbearing way – the music is loud enough to be heard but not loud enough to be intrusive and the hum of other people’s excited chatter only adds to the ambiance. Put simply, it feels like we’re welcoming in the weekend, despite the sad reality of it being only Wednesday. Our waiter is another chirpy gentleman with an evident sense of humour, keen to be banterous and make us feel like welcome guests at a rather large dinner party. The service is exceptional; it’s quick, friendly and our waiter is certainly attentive, starting our meal off with a choice of tap, still or sparkling water.
We opt for the Asian Sharing Platter to start, noting the generosity of four starters in one dish. It arrives in good time and tastes delicious – the authentic Asian flavours fused with a western twist makes for a successful start, setting the bar high for the rest of the meal. The Chicken Yakitori is sticky and tangy and the pieces are anything but small, whilst the Pork Spring Rolls work to continue highlighting the Asian inspiration behind the platter. As someone who has their reservations towards seafood, I’m astonished at my craving for more of the Chilli Squid after my first taste – it blends sweet and savoury expertly, with the accompanying sweet chilli dip elevating the flavour further. To round-off the platter is a plentiful helping of crispy Prawn Crackers, which make for a great tool in soaking up the remaining sweet chilli and soy sauce. The starter has certainy hit the spot.
In amongst our eagle-eyed waiter providing us with regular drink top-ups and wiping the table of Asian Sharing Platter remnants, we are presented with the main courses: One Coq Au Van and one Miso Cod Fillet. At this point it comes as no surprise that both dishes are plated to perfection and filled with a copious amount of gorgeous-looking food. The Coq Au Van is a straight ten out of ten – the chicken is thick and succulent whilst practically falling off of the bone, the red wine sauce is abundant with bacon bits and button mushrooms and is so rich that I secretly want to to pick up the casserole dish it’s in and drink from it profusely. The mashed potato is exactly how you’d expect great mashed potato to be – not a lump in sight and as creamy as can be. I may be slightly biased there as mashed potato is an utter delicacy as far as I’m concerned, but nonetheless this course is a complete success. The Misho Cod Fillet proves to be another hit, being described by my colleague simply as “an insane piece of fish” – flaky, fresh and flavoursome, this fish lives up to its prestigious reputation as one of the best bits of cod around. It’s admittedly quite a challenge for me to eat enough to ever feel full, as my stomach is somewhat a bottomless pit, yet the Rock & Rose menu seems to be doing just that. What better way to be full up than with seriously good food?
We’re a little cautious to accept the offer to look at the dessert menu out of fear that we may explode, however, we decide that it would only be the polite thing to do. Hosting a diverse range of sweet treats, even going as far as a dessert cocktail, it’s more than slightly difficult to make our final choice. Our waiter recommends the Dessert Platter To Share, which, as he explains, is a selection of some of the most popular desserts on the menu in miniature form. It arrives a little over ten minutes later, allowing perfect time for a quick breather, and it is immediately apparent that we’ve made the right choice. We’re confronted by Vanilla Crème brûlée, Cheesecake, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie, Biscotti and Sour Cherry Sorbet. Our poor stomachs wince but our mouths are watering uncontrollably – we’re not sure if it’s due to the desserts that we’re about to annihilate or the price tag that accompanies it – a mere £11.99 for six fabulous mini treats. The flavours together are insane, with the sorbet acting as a striking refresher of our palates, preparing us to indulge further. The dessert platter, despite being full to the brim, is dare we say moreish. This is one dining experience that we would happily repeat.
Upmarket without the pretentious label, it’s clear that the opulent Rock & Rose is one of the best venues in Richmond for a purely good time. Whether it’s lunch, dinner or just straight to the cocktails, they’ve got it covered. This is one to add to the bucketlist for 2017.