We follow the seasons and embody our culinary philosophy of sourcing local ingredients while thinking globally at Rocket. We catch up with Senior Head Chef Mathieu Defrasne who shares his thoughts and inspiration behind Rocket’s new seasonal menu.
“All these dishes are packed full of flavours, textures, and great hero ingredients of spring and summer,” he says.
Our new à la carte menu for spring and summer pays homage to the abundance of fresh British produce at the peak of their seasonality, including the sweetest Isle of Wight tomatoes, courgettes, fennel, and Wye Valley asparagus heroed in many of this season’s dishes.
To begin, the Cod crudo is a fresh and light starter dish made with thinly sliced raw cod served with spiced dashi broth, tangy pickled radishes, and delicate sea vegetables. The combination of flavours and textures creates a perfect balance that highlights the delicate flavour of the fish.
Another show-stopping starter is the Summer Squash, a dish made by roasting the squash with dates to bring out its sweetness and served with spicy ginger tomatoes, crunchy spiced dukkah, and tangy pomegranate seeds. It’s a delicious and colourful vegan starter that highlights the best of our summer produce.
The Yellowfin Tuna Carpaccio is another exceptional start to your meal. Incredibly fresh, the tuna is sliced paper-thin. The sweetness of the Isle of Wight tomatoes perfectly complemented the fish while the confit Charlotte potato added a beautiful creamy texture and richness to the dish. Overall, it’s a well-balanced and beautifully presented dish that will leave you eagerly anticipating the rest of your meal.
The Dorset Crab is a refreshing salad made with a combination of white and brown crabmeat, served with tangy pickled kohlrabi, crisp celeriac, and sweet-tart Granny Smith apple. It’s a perfect blend of textures and flavours that showcase the freshness of the crab.
Meanwhile, Chef Mathieu describes the Cornish Gurnard as one of this season’s standouts. The escabeche added a zesty and slightly tangy flavour that elevated the fish to a whole new level. The fennel and citrus salad was the perfect side dish, with the refreshing notes of citrus and the subtle anise flavour of fennel. The sourdough crumb added a delightful crunch and texture to the dish.
The Beef Sirloin is a celebration of the Scottish small beef cattle, featuring a perfectly roasted Aberdeen Angus sirloin accompanied by tender braised ox cheek. The dish is completed with a delectable potato nori puff that adds a crispy and umami-rich element, and a refreshing King Oyster mushroom and watercress garnish to balance the richness of the meat.
The slow-roasted Celeriac root is a flavourful and satisfying vegan dish. The celeriac is cooked to perfection, with a crispy exterior and a soft and creamy centre. The warm tartare sauce is a delightful accompaniment that adds a tangy and savoury element to the dish. The pickled kohlrabi brings a refreshing crunch and a zesty kick, while the toasted hazelnuts provides some crunch. Together, the combination of textures and flavours create a well-balanced and sophisticated vegan dish that leaves the guest thoroughly impressed.
“Chef Mathieu’s approach to menu development starts by speaking with our suppliers: ‘I like to talk to our suppliers and find out what ingredients are exciting them in the new season. Beautiful food starts with the very best produce,’” he explains.
“I also spend too much time reading about food! I research chefs that are making a name for themselves, new restaurants that are making a splash and new suppliers introducing us to new produce… I read food blogs and restaurant reviews and I also spend time scrolling on Instagram for inspiration. I also speak to our foodie event managers to find out what’s exciting for our clients. It’s a continual process of learning, trial and error, but ultimately, we arrive at dishes that I love, and we believe are ahead of the curve.”
The Halibut is an excellent example of how perfectly matched ingredients and skilled cooking can create a truly exceptional dish. The fricassée of wild mushrooms is the perfect complement, adding earthy and savoury flavours that balances the delicate fish. The spinach gnocchi are soft and pillowy, with just the right amount of chewiness, while the smoked wild garlic velouté is the real star of the show, with a smoky and garlicky flavour that is both bold and delicious.
The Gnocchi is a true indulgence for pasta lovers. The truffle gnocchi is perfectly cooked and boasts an earthy flavour that is beautifully complemented by the sweetness of the leeks and the nuttiness of the broad beans. The caper gremolata adds a sharp and tangy note that matches the richness of the dish. The smoked hay emulsion provides a unique smoky flavour that ties everything together in a deliciously indulgent way.
The Rhubarb is a celebration of seasonal produce, featuring a beautiful combination of tart rhubarb and fragrant green tea. The brown sugar meringue provides a delicate and sweet contrast to the tartness of the rhubarb, while the amaretti crumb adds a satisfying crunch and nutty flavour. The result is a sophisticated and indulgent dessert that is both visually stunning and deliciously satisfying.
The Chocolate and Passionfruit Opéra is a chocolate lover’s dream come true, with layers of rich and decadent Valrhona and dark chocolate financier, paired with the tangy and tropical notes of passionfruit. The feuilletine adds a satisfying crunch, and the salted caramel ice cream brings a sweet and savory balance that perfectly complements the chocolate flavors.
Another dessert to highlight is the Summer Berries Macaron. It is sweet and tangy, with a crisp exterior giving way to a delicate and chewy center. The champagne and strawberry sauce adds a luxurious touch, providing a sweet and fragrant note. Together, these elements create an elegant dessert, evoking summer’s bright and cheerful essence.
Lastly, we have the Peach Melba, a modern take on a classic. The silky smooth peach and vanilla panna cotta is perfectly balanced by the tangy sweetness of the raspberries, and the white almond ice cream adds a nutty richness that ties everything together in a harmonious and indulgent way. It’s spring and summer in every way, and we can’t wait for all to tuck in.
To view our full menus or chat through your party or event in more detail, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7622 2320