“I’ll have the pigeon” is a phrase that I never thought I would hear coming out of my mouth….ever. So, I have to give credit to the team at Rok Smokehouse for making me take this step, which turned out to be quite awesome. I’d heard great things about Rok from another friend who is a total foodie and recommended that I eat as much “pickled stuff” as possible while I was there. It is based close enough to the city, so I could make it there after work, and I couldn’t get a reservation at Noma when I was in Copenhagen…why not give it a go?!
OK, back to the pigeon. It all started when I sat at the bar waiting for my friend. As I perused the menu, I nearly sputtered out my water when I saw pigeon on the menu. Anyone who has lived in an urban city or, hell, even gone to a park, knows that pigeons are essentially rats with with wings. the conversation regarding eating pigeon for dinner went something like this:
Me: Um…pigeon…really? Are people actually ordering this option? I mean, are these dirty city pigeons? Where are the pigeons coming from? (Note: I am from the USA where people can be rather blunt)
Bartender: No, don’t worry. These are actually farm raised pigeons brought up on organic feed.
Me: OK, but what does it taste like? Are you 100% sure that these pigeons are from a real farm and have never eaten out of a garbage can?
Bartender: If you like duck, you’ll probably like pigeon. It is a very soft, tender meat. Yes, organic…farm…tasty.
Me: I love duck…I love organic…I love tasty.
About 40 minutes later, as I was eating my pigeon, I had to agree. It tastes a lot like duck, maybe even better! The rest of the meal was amazing as well. We started off with a number of pickled items. I would recommend sharing one or two because they come in mason jars. It doesn’t look like much at first, but there is a lot in each jar. The other thing you must try is the marrow mashed potatoes. These are the best ever! They are super thick and creamy. Highly recommend.
Sadly, I did not write down everything I ate. Maybe this makes me a bit of a crappy blogger, but I don’t want to spend my entire meal taking notes and photos. I like to have conversations and chat with the people I am dining with. If something is really amazing and tasty though, I will definitely remember it and that means that it’s really special, not just something I remembered to write it down.
Rok is a small, unassuming restaurant in Shoreditch, and is not too far from Liverpool Street tube station – maybe a five to seven minute walk. Enjoy!
Rok Smokehouse – 26 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3NZ