From the 17th October, for one month only (but let's hope they stay longer!) Malaysian tapas & satay bar Rojak are taking over the kitchen at The Lacy Nook, in Stoke Newington London.
We found Rojak purely by chance. My partner Ben's family are huge foodies. So when it comes to a catch up lunch, it's exciting to see what we'll discover next! Ben's mum had been recommended The Lacy Nook but we didn't know it would have a new pop up kitchen serving us on Saturday.
We were happily surprised to read Rojak's tapas menu consisted of traditional Malaysian dishes with exciting twists.
Rojak meaning; "An eclectic mix of ingredients to spice up London’s kaleidoscope of cultures."
Tapas is a perfect choice for us. When eating with Ben's parents - family style is usually the way to go because we all want to try everything! The waitress recommended to order two dishes per person or to add a few portions of rice or roti if we were feeling hungry. (We opted for ordering more tapas dishes) We went for:
Nasi Lemak Scotch Egg - with a medley of aromatic accompaniments £5
Babi Pongteh - braised pork belly with potato in a fermented soya bean stew £8.20
Chap Chye "buddha's delight" - shitake mushrooms, carrots, mung bean noodles, miso cabbage & yuzu dressing £7.20
Nyonya Pineapple Curry - Steeped in lemongrass, candlenut, galangal, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, cloves, turmeric, & eschallots £9.20
Ox Cheek Rendang - slow cooked dry curry simmered in seven different spices, lemongrass & coconut £11.50
Corn-fed Chicken Satay - marinated in galangal (a type of ginger) turmeric, garlic & lemongrass served with peanut sauce, cucumber ribbons & grilled onions £9.50
Smoked Aubergine Satay - turmeric, lemongrass & mildly spiced peanut sauce £7.20
Otak (or Ohah) - lightly spiced grilled seasonal mackerel cake £6.80
The chef brought us some complimentary Nasi Kerabu to try- Blue Rice with seasonal herb, served at room temperature £4
We also had a few Turmeric Ginger Lattes which were really unique. (Although it was a latte it contained no coffee, so I had a cheeky extra shot with it).
Please note the menu is going to change throughout the month, this is just what we experienced during our visit.
Ben's mum is Indonesian and was excited to see otak (grilled mackerel cake) a traditional dish she knew and loved on the menu. She asked the waitress why it was called 'otak or ohah'. The waitress informed us it's simply because people know the dish by different names.
Not thinking much more about it, the chef came out to serve us our last dish as she wanted to meet the people who knew about otak! We were so excited to meet the chef who had put together this meal, as every single dish gave us so much enjoyment.
The presentation was exceptional and the flavours were authentic, well thought out and balanced, whilst still bringing something new and exciting to the table. So when we met chef Christine Wong we were dying to express our love (whilst being unable to stop eating!)
She explained to us she was a self taught chef, new mum, who just had a passion for cooking. Well we just fell in love with her! She even brought us some complimentary Nasi Kerabu to try- Blue Rice with seasonal herb, (served at room temperature). You can actually see a photo of Ben's dad below reading Christine his Facebook review he had already written he was so happy!
The Lacy Nook was the perfect place for Saturday afternoon brunch with the family. There were a few other tables of couples, young parents and friends, enjoying the window seat nooks watching the world pass by.
Natural light spilled in from all of the lovely windows and the decor was an interesting conversation starter. Quaint wooden features and plants dotted all around the room giving a nice, relaxed vibe. Although it was daytime, the lighting seemed to be soft and warm, so I think this would also be a great place to come in the evening for a catch up with a friend or a cosy date.
The waiting staff were also excellent, giving us a warm welcome on arrival and throughout our visit.
Highly recommend, exciting eclectic menu, relaxed welcoming atmosphere, crowd pleaser, visit soon!
Babi Pongteh (pork belly), Nyonya Pineapple Curry, Corn-fed Chicken Satay and a Turmeric Ginger Latte
Location: 8 Cazenove Rd, Cazenove, London N16 6BD