‘Make Feast Not War’ – now that’s a motto I can live by!
Ransacked Black Oven has ‘ransacked’ food from all over the world to create a menu made up of bites, bowls, and boards. The restaurant is basic (not a criticism) with some cool elements like this old school (literally) blackboard, and a window seat where two brave middle agers perched – I was looking on wondering if my own back would take the strain!
We started with some very moreish bread, we chose the Sourdough Flat Bread, but there was also Gram Four Roti, Dukka with Garlic Honey, and Zaatar.
Lots of middle eastern elements have been ransacked for both the bread and dips. Dips included garlic honey, spinach and peanut, and tzatziki – all three of which we had, and I’d happily have again. In fact, I attempted the spinach and peanut one at home, and I have now reminded myself of the delicious garlic honey and may well try that too!
We also had some of the Molasses Braised Pork Belly because it sounded too good to miss, and we were right. Generous chunks of slow cooked meat, sticky and sweet with the molasses…pretty sure there was kimchi on the side but to be honest I could hardly see past the pork.
I had a Savoury Soul Bowl with Shawarma Spiced Chicken, Herb Potatoes, and Apple & Celeriac Slaw. It’s a great idea and all very tasty. If I had to pick again I’d get the soul bowl but with more of that Molasses Pork. The side of bread was very welcome (you can never have enough bread) and I’m glad we had kept the dips back. To be honest I’d go to Ransacked Black Oven and JUST eat bread, dips, and pork!
My friend had Chargrilled Lamb Steak board with similar sides to the bowls. The dip here was a sweet Tamarind & Date affair which went nicely with lamb which always benefits from a fruity accompaniment.
With starters and mains being so successful, expectations were high, but despite reading well, the desserts did not live up to those expectations. An Eastern Mess promising lime, chilli, and meringue was lacking in flavour and sweetness – it needed more of everything and tasted a lot of unsweetened cream and little else. Not sure if the chef is against the use of sugar as the equally appetising sounding Pumpkin & Peanut Brownie suffered with same issue. I love a bitter chocolate, but it does need to be balanced with some sweetness. However, we did love the presentation on both and the little wooden spoons. A spoonful of sugar would certainly solve the problem here, wooden or otherwise.
Overall we really enjoyed Ransacked Black Oven. The highlights were the breads, dips, and starters, we’d be inclined to order more of these the next time. Pass on the desserts, or better still, just order the dessert with garlic honey as that was epic.
Find out more about Ransacked Black Oven here.