Sweet Seduction At Rock And Rose

Worth making the journey from Chiswick says reviewer Anne Flaherty

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Eating out in Chiswick


Rock & Rose,
106-108 Kew Road
Richmond TW9 2PQ

0208 948 8008

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Rock & Rose has been described as a ‘destination’ restaurant in Richmond, full of glamorous and exciting people. I was eager to travel out of my comfort zone in W4 and see how the other half live.

Located in a parade of restaurants along the Kew Road, the restaurant, is owned by Lorraine Angliss of Annie’s fame (Chiswick and Barnes), and is really on the border of Kew and Richmond. Outside the discreet front door are lavish palm trees.

The website describes the decor as “ luscious, a destination for food with passion and glamour”. Other reviewers have used adjectives such as "opulent, gothic, punk-glam, eclectic, decadent, quirky, whimsical, funky and sparkly". The word seductive is frequently used, giving the impression of being the perfect place to bring a husband, wife, or even lover....

The place was heaving, which was impressive for a week night. There was a more secluded area in an alcove at the back of the room where a very glamorous bunch of diners, who might have been premier league footballers and their WAGS, were seated.There was lots of hearty laughter and the music was upbeat. It certainly had an anti-recession vibe.

We were shown to a table for two – with a view of the “silvery seductive“ bar. The place is full of chandeliers, flock rose wallpaper, large flower displays, and black furniture . My husband described it as New Orleans Bordello chic. It has a lot of femininine appeal and the pink, sparkly tone is quite girly.

There was an extensive cocktail list but we did not have time to try one as the manager had pressed a glass of bubbly into our hands, and so it was straight onto the menus.

Blue Lady cocktail

For starters I chose warm goat's cheese, beetroot and rocket salad. There is a similar dish in Annie’s - where they use green beans, goats cheese and walnuts. This was a perfect blend of soft crumbly cheese. crunchy beetroot, and aromatic rocket. My husband had rack of ribs, (£9.95) – he claimed he was hungry and needed a large infusion of food. These ribs were delicious , the meat melting off the bone, with a sticky-sweet barbecue sauce.

Other choices for starters included caesar Salad with avocado, soup of the day, chicken liver and foie gras parfait, chilli salt squid, or seared tuna with wasabi dip. But there were a few adventurous offerings with the chicken san chao bauy or seared tuna with wasabi. All starters are priced roughly between £5 and £8. There are also sharing plates .

The menu boasts a considerable range of main courses. For fish-lovers, there was whole seabass with chilli, ginger and spring onion (served with pak choi), Lobster /Caesar salad, a cod dish with miso, a lobster linguine, a teriyaki tuna burger, and that’s only the seafood. There was comfort food available with the roasted half- chicken served with hand-cut fries and aioli, a bouef bourgignon, or lamb shanks. Mains were average price ranging from £12-£22.

Vegetarians were catered for with tagine of butternut squash , chickpea and courgette, served with herb couscous, or the risotto of the day.

My choice was the monkfish, tiger prawn and coconut curry, served with coriander rice (£13.95). It was extremely tasty but I didn’t enjoy the seeds, possibly coriander or cumin. I would have preferred them to be omitted from the sauce rather than taste a mouthful of grit. The seafood in the dish was plentiful and fresh and the coriander rice was fragrant and fluffy.

The husband chose the lobster linguine- and he really enjoyed it. There was plenty of lobster and a delicious tomato-flavoured sauce.

Lobster Linguine

There were several more choices from the Grill menu. The Rock Cheeseburger (£10.95) sounded enticing, or Rib Eye Steak, with roast tomatoes, served with hand cut chips and béarnaise sauce (£27.95). Another option was Fillet Au Poivre, with Potatoes Gratin & Wilted Spinach (£29.50).

Shrimp Surf & Turf consisted of Rib eye steak, shrimps in garlic butter & hand cut chips.

Desserts include Creme Brulee, which was creamy and calorific, with the crunchy burnt sugar topping just right.

The dessert selection included Chocolate and Passion Fruit cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding and icecream, chocolate brownie, pavlova, apple and raspberry crumble, or two dessert cocktails, either an Chocolate Martini ( vodka, chocolate cream and baileys) or Expresso Martini ( vodka, kahlua and coffee) Desserts are £5/95 and martinis priced at £7.95.

The impressive wine-list includes several bottles for under £25, with the most expensive, a Pommard (2000) priced at almost £40.

Service was friendly and speedy.

A three-course dinner for two, with two aperitifs, a bottle of wine, and service would average around £120.

Children are welcome and there is a Little Rockers menu for £5 which includes a drink.

I liked the whimsical, funky, stylish tone of the restaurant, and the trendy upmarket crowd looked as if they were enjoying themselves. It seems to have a wide appeal, particularly with the urban professional set, but I also spotted couples, groups of friends, and I imagine during the day it is popular with ladies who lunch.

June 22, 2012