loti eats | aulis

After we had a pretty much perfect lunch at Roganic, Simon Rogan’s permanent London restaurant, we went to check out Aulis, which is where a lot of the dishes on the restaurant menu would have started life. Aulis works as the development kitchen for Roganic, just as there’s an Aulis in Cartmel that serves the same purpose for L’Enclume. It also opens as a restaurant, and with just eight seats, dinner here is a proper chef’s table experience.

There’s no menu so you are totally in the hands of the chefs; they cook and plate right in front of you, and talk you through the ingredients and processes that have gone into each dish. Like Roganic, it’s a multi-course affair moving from snacks to larger plates to desserts, and there’s also a big focus on veg making use of produce sourced from Rogan’s Our Farm in Cartmel. Though it’s a test kitchen the dishes served here are pretty much the finished article – you’re not being used as guinea pigs for some mad ideas – and they are amazing, both in looks and in taste.

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Naturally the menu changes all the time but highlights from our twelve course experience were super crunchy cod head croquettes with burnt chive emulsion, which was like a whole fish pie in one mouthful; scallop and roe mousse on oyster crackers; roasted salsify with miso brown butter, enoki mushrooms and whey; silky melting Westcombe cheddar dumplings sat in an intense onion consomme; soft, fat mussels with cabbage, rock samphire and jerusalem artichoke puree; and a sweet and savoury buckwheat ice cream sandwich with malt and vinegar gel.

Eating at Aulis does come with a hefty price tag but this is no ordinary dinner – not only do you get incredible food and paired wines, you get the interaction and experience of eating with the chefs. You can book out the whole space too, so it’s one to save for a very special occasion.

Soho, London, W1