I’ve discovered a pornstar. One of London’s finest. And not only does this pornstar give you more than enough pleasure, prosecco is served alongside. Delightful. I’m talking about the cocktail of course. The lascivious drink scented with passion fruit, served in a cocktail glass and a crisp clean prosecco shot on the side; a tango of the smoothest kind. Suffice to say this is currently the best pornstar cocktail I have drunk, and the deed was done deep down stairs, under the moodily dimmed lights of Rocket Restaurant and Bar on Holborn’s Kingsway. My only complaint is that it should be served in a jug, alongside a whole bottle of the Italian bubbles. It’s that good.
It would be a perfectly natural state of affairs to arrive at the bar after work, carefully selecting cocktails from their extensive list. The decision won’t be easy, after starting with a pornstar you’ll then have to choose between such enticements as the Baker’s Tarte, made with mandarin napoleon, martell vs, contreau, orange curd, lemon juice and raspberry, or the Tropical Wave with koko kanu, passoa, fresh watermelon and lemon juice, topped with pressed apple. You may even choose to take things up a notch and dabble with the champagne cocktails instead. The good news is the choice gets easier the more you drink.
At some point though your stomach is going to start politely reminding you that it is hungry. But your riding high now and don’t want to leave the buzzing atmosphere and shift into a formal eating environment. This problem can be solved instantly by simply shuffling along a few steps into Rocket’s restaurant. Semi attached, or rather separated by screens, the swanky dinning area embodies the same jovial vibe of the bar, with the same soundtrack of music to keep you in the party spirit all night. During our visit an eclectic mix of tunes ranging from Dolly Parton hits, 70’s classics, 90’s rap, and general toe-tapping sing-alongs kept the mood light and fun.
Rocket’s menu is an interesting fusion of Italian, Mediterranean and Californian favourites. Dishes such as Surf & Turf Salad of black tiger prawns, baby squid and seared rare beef embody the sunshine of America’s favourite beach city. Mediterranean influences make an appearance in Moroccan Spiced Paneer, Halloumi and Tofu Skewers. There’s even a random courgette teppanyaki dish on the menu, just as good as any you can find in a Japanese restaurant.
But Rocket’s speciality is Italian stone baked pizzas. Classics such as a margherita, or prosciutto & rocket are available for traditionalist, but more exciting are the fusion of flavours presented on thin crusty bases such as barbecued pulled pork shoulder with rainbow slaw, chipotle spiced tomato sauce, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Or the one we chose, smoked black pudding, butterfly king prawns and pancetta. This one might divide the crowd, but no doubt once eaten it will be obvious the combination is one of culinary skill.
There are currently 4 Rocket restaurants in London, all branches very successful with buzzing weekday and weekend crowds. You’ll need to keep an eye out for Rocket Holborn however when walking down Kingsway. The entrance on street level resembles that of a hotel foyer, glass doors leading to stairs, but no obvious sign of diners. This advantage point gives Rocket its private moody club-like feel, but the disadvantage is for those who will mistakenly walk past unawares. Not noticing the entrance of Rocket means missing out on a whole lot of drinking and dinning fun, which would be a terrible shame. And most importantly, you’ll never bag yourself a pornstar that way.
Rocket Holborn: 36-38 Kingsway, London WC2B 6EY
Tel: 0207 242 8070
Written by Justina Terese, Food Writer and Recipe Developer www.foodforaking.com