National Garlic Week at Rocket, Holborn

April 19 is National Garlic Day (what, you forgot?), and to celebrate, the chefs at Rocket restaurant in Holborn have created a special pizza to extol the virtues of everyone’s favourite pungent flavouring.

The venue is a stylish basement restaurant, large but feeling intimate with separate eating areas and subdued lighting. Lively party music helps ramp up the atmosphere. The food is generally Mediterranean, but with some Asian influences. Delicious starters like crab cakes, in a crispy coating with a sensational mango garnish, or fantastically fried baby squid with a sweet chili sauce and really nice rocket salad, help sharpen your appetite for what comes next.

For mains, there’s lots of seafood choices and veggie-friendly dishes, as well as salads and grills like a surf n’turf, chicken Milanese and an amazing toasted sesame-coated tuna steak, cooked beautifully rare, melt in the mouth and accompanied by a nice veg salad and wasabi mayo.

However, what really stands out are the pizzas, and there’s a really impressive choice of interesting and unusual ones to try. Along with your standard margherita or prosciutto and rocket are choices like tandoori chicken and raita, barbecued pulled pork, smoked chicken and caramelised red onion, chilli con carne, and the oddest sounding of all, black pudding, butterfly king prawns and pancetta. I just had to go for it, and was not disappointed. It was beautifully done and the black pudding had an amazing smoky flavour.

For garlic week, the special pizza will feature two varieties of garlic, white and black, served on a stone-baked base with feta cheese, spinach, black olives and a rich olive and tomato salsa to really bring out the best of the garlic flavours.

Desert choices veer more towards Anglo-tastes, with sticky toffee pudding, brownies and cheesecake on offer, as well as lovely salted caramel ice cream and a hot and not too sweet pecan treacle tart.

Rocket has great drinks too – there are many bespoke cocktails, with prices starting at £8.50 including some interesting sounding champagne ones. They specialise in gin cocktails ‘done the Spanish way’ – meaning a big glass bowl with fruit garnishes. The ‘Mare Nostrum’ with basil, sundried tomato, olives and Gin Mare did actually taste like a delicious gin cocktail as opposed to the Bloody Mary type drink I was expecting. And it had a really good kick of gin too! The ‘Elegant’ cocktail was a tasty mix of Tanqueray Ten, mint, grapefruit and lime. There’s also a huge wine list with lots of champagne and Prosecco to choose from.

With super friendly, attentive and helpful staff, quick service and all sorts of quality food to satisfy every palate, Rocket Holborn is worth a visit any time, even if it isn’t garlic week!

36-38 Kingsway

Tel: 0207 242 8070

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