Food & Drink: Rock & Rose

26 Nov

Last Friday was my friend Charlotte’s 24th birthday. Having spent the two weeks running up to it nagging her to pick a restaurant and book it I then obviously spent Thursday morning desperately trying to track down a table anywhere that would have us.

Her first choice was Bill’s, but their Richmond branch was fully booked on both Friday and Saturday night (I didn’t ask about Saturday but thanks for the info). I then had a rare brainwave and decided to give Rock & Rose on the Kew Road a try.

None of us have ever been, but I’ve always thought it looks very nice, if a bit chintzy. They also have FIRE outside and I’m easily impressed. The woman I spoke to on the phone was lovely and helpful. Unfortunately they couldn’t fit four of us in, but would put us on a reserve list and let me know as soon as possible on the Friday. Luckily it turned out that there were actually only three of us for dinner, and not four, and a quick redial got us a table. I’ve only just remembered I booked a table at Côte as a back up and completely forgot to cancel it, sorry Côte…

Fifteen minutes before we were supposed to arrive it turned out there would be four of us after all. The very helpful staff did their best to squeeze us all in, but the heaters at the pub had confused me about the fact it was nearly December so I suggested if they couldn’t find us a table we could sit outside. This turned out to be a huge mistake as though there seemed to be heaters, they weren’t switched on all night. This could be because they were broken, but no one mentioned it.

The restaurant was heaving and being the only table stupid enough to brave the elements meant we were somewhat forgotten. When we finally did order, our starters came out first and our cocktails arrived before our cutlery.

The food, though, was amazing. I’m not a big fan of pork but the baby back ribs were fantastic. The meat fell straight off the bone and was so melt-in-the-mouth you barely had to chew. Someone, who will remain nameless, enjoyed them so much she had them for her main too. Our friend Alex had the seared tuna sashimi and said it was absolutely wonderful; possibly the best she’d ever had – very fresh and full of flavour.

Drinks-wise Alex wasn’t so pleased with her cocktail (which I think was called Royal Rose), saying it tasted like the Body Shop watered down. I had a fantastic Hot Passion vodka cocktail- though ordering anything with a name like that makes me cringe slightly – which was lovely and sharp but incredibly warming thanks to a big chilli kick, but I ended up going for Charlotte’s cocktail, Lovely Pear – cringe – on our second round.

We ended up sitting with a table covered in empty plates for a good twenty minutes before anyone came out to take our order for mains, which was a bit annoying to be honest, and you would hope that once a restaurant has apologised for forgetting about your table they would make sure to be a bit more attentive, but it seemed we were destined to only get service if I happened to catch someone’s eye and wave at them through the window.

Again, I can’t find fault with the food. I had the Super Skinny Steak Burger, which is a bit of a misnomer as it comes with cheese, bacon and an avocado Caesar salad, simply minus the bun. The meat was lovely and tender and tasted brilliantly rich and the salad was great, with nice solid avocado, rather than the mushy awful stuff you sometimes get. Naturally I ordered fries with it, which were the only let down as they were so covered in pepper, which I don’t like on chips and should really always be optional. Jenny, our number four, had the cheeseburger, whuch was much the same as mine.

Alex, who is a bit of a foodie, plumped for the roast pork belly which was huge and came on a mountain of great mashed potato and roasted winter vegetables. Whoever it was who had the ribs again thought they were delicious and couldn’t have been happier.

None of us had any room for pudding, which is just as well as the wait for someone to come and clear our plates and us being able to ask for the bill was probably around the length of time we had to wait for someone to take our first order. Feeling a bit like a fat girl no one wants to dance with at a party, we decided not to leave a tip, but were happy to pay the 12.5% service charge added to the bill. It wasn’t really the restaurant’s fault, but they definitely could have done a little bit more to make sure we weren’t ignored.

Overall Rock & Rose was lovely and I’ll definitely go again, but hopefully when I don’t have to change the booking and can sit inside.

For four of us, three having starters, the bill came to £187 including multiple cocktails and a bottle of prosecco.

Rock and Rose, 106 – 108 Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 2PQ
020 8948 8008




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