I’ve been waiting for Rocket & Rye, the latest venture from John and Ceri Cook, to open for absolutely yonks.
First announced back in September 2020, this Cowbridge restaurant’s opening was inevitably delayed due to multiple lockdowns and outdoor dining restrictions. In the meantime, the Cooks have teased its arrival with Rocket & Rye meal kits which have supplemented their brilliant Kapow Ribs.
Rocket & Rye was finally ready for lift off with the start of inside dining in May 2021.
With a menu comprising of ingredient-led snacks, starters, mains and desserts, you can either construct a meal of sharing small plates or opt for the traditional three courses. As fully paid up members of team starter-main-pud, there was only one route we were going to go down.
A super tender and lightly char-licked meaty roast octopus tentacle (£9.50) was sat in a rich red pepper and tomato sauce flecked with balancing capers. Topped with a good dollop of punchy herb-packed green sauce, it was a dish which delivered bags of flavour.
Across the table, a tasty yet low key plate combined thick hummus (£6), crisp green beans, soft white beans, mixed leaves, crunchy hazelnuts and vinaigrette dressing.
Warm and airy crumbed focaccia (£4) with a light chew was an ideal mop for the remnants of both starters.
Onto mains, and a beef blade bun (£16) was a rip-roaring decadent delight. A slow-cooked piece of deeply beefy and seriously tender slow-cooked meat was dressed with glossy chicken butter sauce, tonsil warming roast garlic aioli and lightly acidic pink pickled onions and gherkins. It was all cosseted by a light yet robust bun and accompanied by chonky golden crusted beef fat chips.
The entire construction made me question why I don’t encounter hot slow-cooked bits of meat in a bun more often? It’s unquestionably an upgrade on most burgers.
A whopper of a portion of duck bolognese (£19) was buried under a flurry of parmesan. It was a nice rustic dish which would have been elevated by a more pronounced quack of duck and a bit more bite to the pasta.
For dessert, a vegan option saw fresh summer berries (£6) bathed in a zesty syrup zinging with lime. It was topped with a dollop of whipped coconut cream with a curious grainy texture that neither of us were particularly sold on.
A genius piece of pastry-work made in collaboration with Cocorico’s Laurian Veaudour rounded off the meal. A light and not too rich chocolate mousse (£8.50) cocooned a thick and toasty tonka bean caramel sat on top of a super crisp hazelnut biscuit base. A big pour of cream was just the ticket to complete this first class dessert.
It’s great to see Rocket & Rye finally finally open its doors and I’ll undoubtedly be calling in for a beef bun and a chocolate mousse whenever I’m in Cowbridge again. Despite the current issues around staffing in the hospitality industry, we had excellent service from a young and enthusiastic team too.
Address - Rocket & Rye, 30 High Street, Cowbridge CF71 7AG
Web - https://rocketrye.co.uk/
Telephone - 01446 775884