Book a table at this Kingsbridge newbie before Michelin get wind of the gastronomic alchemy bubbling away in Jamie Rogers’ kitchen, says Kathryn Lewis
Working with almost every chef worth their salt in the South West (Michael Caines, Paul Ainsworth and Simon Hulstone to name three) and competing in MasterChef: The Professionals at just 23, Jamie Rogers has built solid cooking creds.
So it comes as no surprise that his first solo venture is an absolute knock-out. Every course is photoshoot ready, the vibe casual but not laissez-faire and the compilation of taste, texture and colour in each dish brazenly good.
VISIT for what will almost certainly be one of the best meals you’ll devour this year. Don’t even consider going à la carte: you’ll miss out if you sample only three of Jamie’s dishes. Untether the yacht and go full tasting menu.
Casting an eye down the menu, most of the courses on the hyperlocal line-up appear to be a lucky-dip of buzzword ingredients. Foie gras, rhubarb and mushroom are unlikely bedfellows but in a smoked ham and chicken terrine with pickled shimeji and candied hazelnuts they form a delicious union. The same goes for the (pre-dessert) shot of maple syrup with salt and pepper whisky cream and chive garnish.
Not every course is game-changing: a Salcombe-bred fillet of Dexter beef with crispy short rib, bourguignon garni and truffle pomme puree doesn’t break any culinary boundaries, but it’s a damn fine example of a classic combination.
DON’T VISIT with a large crowd. The sleek space is designed for intimate dinners, while Jamie’s dishes are deserving of your full attention.
WE LIKED the two-fingers-to-convention drinks flight. The team aren’t scared to challenge the status quo and, while the first few courses are matched with off-list wines, the beef is paired with a punchy 7.5 per cent ABV Spanish larger and the dark chocolate dessert with a boozy Venezuelan rum.