My chef’s table experience at Aulis by Simon Rogan, London

It might be a stretch to say that if I hadn’t quit my job, I wouldn’t have tried Simon Rogan’s Aulis – but you know what? That’s largely true. When I left my long-time job in Dubai, my colleagues’ leaving present was a chef’s table experience at the experimental kitchen in London – timely since I was planning to go to the city of rivers soon after.

On September 12, I was ready!

What’s interesting about Aulis is that it doesn’t share its location anywhere – not on its website, not on its social platforms…and it’s not on Google Maps either! So a few days before the experience, an email was sent across revealing its location. I obviously won’t share it either, but off I toddled to the area where it occupies an unassuming front. I honestly walked past it by accident, until I realised I had to double back.

I was the first to arrive that evening, and was greeted by the chef, Mel. She is normally one of two team members hosting guests, but that night it was just her at the helm. There’s a cap of eight guests at Aulis, and there were just four on the day including myself. We sat in front of Mel, and the magic began…

While I’m hoping these pictures convey just some of the beauty of the meal, what I will say is that I came away with a higher respect for ingredients than ever before.

A turnip, my friends, is not just a turnip. And a cabbage is not just a cabbage. No, these are just some of the items whose real flavours and diversity of potential textures are waiting to be discovered – and Mel clearly knew how to showcase the possibilities in a big way. I could not believe how I wiped my plate clean with produce I have never traditionally liked very much. There really isn’t much more I can say, other than if you are a fan of good food done well and almost simply, or if you are a fan of the kind of work being done on shows like Netflix’s Chef’s Table, then this one is for you.

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