Restaurant Review: Rogo's
If you’re looking for an altogether different dining experience, this is a novelty concept that definitely takes a break from the norm. Seemingly taking its cue from Abu Dhabi’s world-famous Formula 1 racetrack and nearby Ferrari World, the theme here is speed – for fast food that’s on another level. The interior is fitted with neon strip lighting for a retro diner vibe and the installation of 30 rollercoasters act as unique method for transporting your food directly to your place setting at the table, making this is an interactive, enjoyable experience that is fun for the whole family.
Located within the confines of the newly opened Yas Mall, the restaurant itself is massive and almost packed to full capacity when we arrive. Once seated around a rather large table that spans the circumference of one of the largest rollercoasters, conversation becomes limited as you are only able to speak to those immediately next to you. However, the awe-inducing spectacle of food whizzing down the rollercoasters from above your head is enough to stop you talking in any case. The ordering process is just as innovative. Each diner is allocated a handheld tablet, so you can order items individually. We recommend ordering as you go, as the items register in the kitchens immediately and are swiftly delivered thereafter.
You’d expect the menu to be compromised somewhat given the creative concept, but surprisingly, there are a vast number of international dishes from all over the globe, from lamb biryani to fried buttermilk chicken and fries. Each dish is delivered in their own individual secured pots, which come flying down the rollercoaster, tagged to your individual seat number at your table, based on your digital order. The only downside is that you have to get up intermittently from your meal to retrieve the dishes or drinks (which are delivered in sealed jam jars) from the conveyor belt as they arrive. Although there is plenty of help from the waiting staff to assist you, on occasion it can feel like too many people in your space when you are trying to enjoy your meal.
The food is suitably impressive, ranging from casual bites of boomerang nachos (which are unbelievable by the way and a must-try), to the rather posh pear and bresaola salad, composed of vanilla infused juiciness from the fruit, and a contrasting crunch from candied walnuts and fresh mesculin leaves. We follow with the G-Force chicken burger which oozes comfort factor, coated in a crunchy cornflake crust and topped with celeriac coleslaw. It’s a plate that will take you over the edge following all those starters, so be warned and take it easy – the portions are huge!
Although personally I am unable to physically consume any more, I’m flanked by young children who love dessert, so we decide on the Nutella profiteroles, filled with a choco-hazelnut cream concoction which will make you swoon. Have a taste, and you might just find yourself ordering another portion!
Rogo’s is a breath of fresh air on the UAE’s dining scene and has rather cleverly appealed to the younger audience, who are bound to beg and plead to return (I know my kids already have). It’s slightly on the expensive side, but it is an amazing experience, so grab the kids and your wallet and enjoy the ride!
INFO: 12noon-10pm Sat-Wed, 12noon-11pm Thu-Fri, Level 1 Yas Mall, Yas Island, 02 565 0888, www.rogos.rest
ROGO’S GRILLED CHICKEN AND QUINOA SALAD
50g baby spinach
15ml balsamic vinaigrette
30ml olive oil
1 tbsp feta cheese
2 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
200g chargrilled chicken breast, cut into 1cm thick strips.
FOR THE QUINOA
200g banana shallots
2 bay leaves
100ml olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
100g red quinoa
50g fresh thyme
100g Knorr vegetable bouillon powder
Salt, to taste
1 Begin by preparing the quinoa. Finley dice the shallots and thyme and mince the garlic.
2 Rinse the quinoa.
3 Mix the water with the Knorr vegetable stock.
4 Place the oil in a medium stock pot, set over a low heat. Sauté the shallots, garlic and thyme for 1 minute until soft and translucent, without them colouring.
5 Add the rinsed quinoa to the pan and mix gently.
6 Add the vegetable stock and allow to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until all the stock has been absorbed by the quinoa. Check for seasoning.
7 Check the quinoa – it should be slightly al dente but not crunchy. Remove from the pan and allow to cool before transferring to the refrigerator to cool completely.
8 Dress the spinach in 5ml of the balsamic vinaigrette and place in a plate leaving a well in the middle for the quinoa.
9 Gently mix the cooked quinoa with the remaining 10ml of the balsamic vinaigrette 30ml olive oil. Season with salt to taste.
10 Place the quinoa in the middle of the spinach leaves.
11 Scatter the feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes on top.
12 Add the warm chicken strips and serve.