Monday, 12 December 2011

Rolling out of Roka

Three months of endless tapas in Salamanca was fun, but after a while the taste buds yearn for something that doesn’t involve chorizo. Okay, so that’s a little exaggerated, but still- in a city that doesn’t even do a decent curry takeaway, this was a somewhat challenging period for my adventurous appetite. No surprises, then, that I couldn’t wait to eat some sushi upon my return to London. And what better restaurant to jump back into the city’s great metropolitan eating than Roka, home to exquisite contemporary Japanese cuisine. Zuma’s little sister on Charlotte Street (there’s also another one in Canary Wharf) serves up the same menu at a slightly more affordable price (don’t be fooled- the menu prices are still a little eyewatering). The restaurant’s centrepiece- a huge robata grill- plainly visible from outside through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows- divulges the promise of a great culinary experience. To kickstart the evening, we sampled their cocktail menu downstairs in the Shochu lounge bar- the pear suppai, in particular, is worth ordering for its powerful, fresh taste. Our appetites perfectly whetted, we wondered upstairs for dinner, holding our breath in greedy anticipation. Just like the restaurant itself, the focal point of the menu is the robata grill- trust us and order the grilled black cod marinated in yuzu miso: each flake of this beautifully cooked cod is a wonder to behold. The softshell crab maki roll, alongside the yellowtail tuna sashimi with truffle yuzu sauce, is also another dish worth trying- magic in your mouth. We ate our bodyweight in sushi and then (maki) rolled our way back downstairs to the bar, where a cocktail bizarrely named “Lawnmower” more than adequately rounded off the evening. Zuma may attract all the stars, but Roka proves that all little sisters learn from the best. 

Roka on Urbanspoon

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