Robata-grilled Scallops at Roka

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Who doesn’t love scallops? Okay, so they’re not for seafood-allergy-sufferers. And perhaps they weren’t the perfect dish to eat at the start of Yom Kippur. But I love scallops. The taste, the texture, the simplicity and elegance. So long as they aren’t overcooked, they tend to be delicious. And the bigger, plumper, more ‘real’ the better.

“The star of the show is the scallop”

And I like Roka’s scallops. Grilled, presumably super-briefly, because these are the perfect textured and tender but full of flavour, brought out by the wasabi and shiso (a leafy, culinary herb – no, I didn’t know either). The ‘topping’ is a sideshow to the freshness and subtlety of the seafood itself – as it should be – you definitely wouldn’t want to compete with the main event.

If there’s any criticism I could level at this dish, it’s just that: the star of the show is the scallop, and it isn’t clear that the crack chefs at Roka (judging by the other dishes we ate, they know what they’re doing) really added a great deal to this star. Could these be the best scallops I’ve ever eaten? Probably yes, but, again, it’s hard to compare when they’re routinely so delicious. It’s not like a lasagne which sometimes comes together with the right taste, texture, balance of ingredients, etc., which amounts to something truly delicious. This was simple, elegant scallops.

I’m not complaining. Who doesn’t love scallops?

40 / 100 best dishes in London

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