Roka Roka Roka. I’ve been trying to get to you for ages. The other week I finally managed to get through the doors as a ‘Goodbye, thanks for the hard work’ lunch with my boss and it was everything I had hoped it would be: i.e. AMAZING..
Roka is an award winning Japanese and sushi restaurant (with four locations across London, yes please) that has been on my ‘places to go for a celebration’ list for a long time. Everyone I know who’s gone has come back raving about it, so when I could pick where to go for our lunch there wasn’t much of a contender.
Light, bright, with a robata grill in the centre of the upstairs dining area, Roka Charlotte St was wonderful from beginning to end. It’s fairly expensive, so one for a special occasion (for me anyway) but boy oh boy do I think it was it worth it.
As I’d never been we went for the tasting menu, which gives a little bit of all the best things on the menu. Sashimi, sushi, vegetables, steamed and grilled cod, pork and fillet beef. Everything was perfect. The only carb on the menu was the sticky rice in the sushi and a small bowl teamed with the black cod. At at 80% fish or seafood based, it’s packed with protein and omega-3. How often can you go out for a ‘treat meal’ and still eat healthily without having to pick carefully from the menu? Hardly ever! I usually find that I either have to pick something ‘clean and healthy’ or take a yolo meal. At Roka, when it comes to the main food you’re golden.
Saying that, there is one thing that may upset the clean ordering… dessert. Full disclosure: I ate all the dessert and it was amazing. Come on now…it was a celebration meal.
The tasting menu gives you three mini desserts to eat and yes, they are full or of sugar and chocolate. However, along with the desserts on the most intricate platter I’ve seen is a huge range of tropical fruit: mango, dragon fruit, kiwi. melon, passion fruit… There’s absolutely no way asking for a bowl for fruit would feel like you were missing out on pudding. It’s such an amazing mix!
I loved it all. The sashimi platter was great quality (cod, tuna, lobster, scallops), laid out over ice. The sushi was light and set in a wafer thin batter. Then perfectly cooked broccoli with a ginger and moromi miso dressing, and steamed black cod on sticky Japanese rice. There was a round of tiny beef sashimi rolls; a perfect mix of warm meat, cold cucumber and spicy sauce. Incredible. Bigger scallop rolls turned up – huge delicious and perfectly cooked with a small spicy sauce blob on top. The final dish, wagyu beef fillet, was amazing. They wouldn’t cook it rare which would have been even nicer but regardless, it was delicious.
Last to mention, but first to eat, was a plate of wafer thin yellow fin sashimi laid out on a yuzu-truffle dressing. Words won’t do it justice, just go try it. I defy anyone not to exclaim “wow” on that first bite. I did, although mine was probably a little more expletive.
Clean eating friendly? Yes
Veggie friendly? No, Pescatarian heaven though.
Why should I go there? Celebratory dinner or lunch, it’s not cheap.