When I received the invitation to stop by Rodells to take some photos and sample some grub I assumed I shouldn’t bring Mark, my pescetarian other half. Rodells is a tapas-style restaurant located in Watford (just a 1 minute walk from Watford Junction station) that serves mostly tapas style dishes. In our experience, tapas typically aren’t very vegetarian/pescetarian friendly meals.
I was wrong in my assumption since there were quite a few options available for fish-eating folk, but nonetheless, my friend Charlie joined me instead and together we pigged out in the most glorious way.
Before even looking at the menu, we celebrated our get together with a Filthy Fizz, a concoction of Chambord and prosecco on tap with fresh raspberries. It did the trick in warming up our palate (or at least my face, damn those missing enzymes!).Once upstairs, there are two dining room options. Take a right and you’ll dine in the room with better light. Take a left and you’ll be in a homier setting. With my photographer hat on I opted for the light drenched room at the expense of some really loud neighbors at the next table.
At first glance you’ll notice that their menu offers diverse options and zig zags across the globe bringing diners a taste from Ethiopia, Cuba, and Korea – just to mention a few. Charlie and I embraced the world tour approach and ordered: beef rendang (not pictured), squid ink risotto, flaming korean wings, the ever popular mac n cheese sushi style, buddha’s veg (not pictured), cantonese belly pork and the flat iron steak with frites.
The highlights for both of us were the flat iron steak and the squid ink risotto. Plenty of people will challenge me on this but I am adamant that steak is best served medium rare. The fact that Rodells will only serve their steak on the pink side deserves my respect. I liked the simple seasoning and the tenderness of the meat, slightly chewy and totally satisfying. The squid ink risotto was pleasantly light despite its outward appearance. The delicate earthiness of the dish kept us wanting more, making it the first dish out of the 7 to go.
I’ve never met a pork belly I don’t like but cantonese style pork belly is by far my favorite. Seasoned with chinese five spice powder and roasted until the rind almost resembles crackling, the dish makes for this carnivore’s best friend. I do think £8 is a bit much for a small bowl of pork belly but it did satisfy.
The rest of the dishes definitely passed muster though I do think the korean wings should have been served crispy rather than goopy. I also found the gochujang sauce too overpowering for the chicken. Regardless, we at the whole thing and regretfully left no room for dessert.
Overall, both Charlie and I really enjoyed our experience at Rodells and I would not pass up the chance to revisit if I were to find myself in Watford or were craving something a little out of the ordinary.
For a bit more history on Rodells and to read what others have to say you can visit the following:
Disclosure: We were invited as guests of Rodells but we did spring for our own drinks!