Roka, Charlotte StreetPosted in Where to Eat & Drink Now
In the middle of the uber-cool Charlotte Street you'll find the irresistible Roka. This glamorous haunt attracts people from all walks of life to sample the delights of their contemporary Japanese food.
The tinted glass and timber fronted restaurant makes Roka a little inconspicuous if you happen to trot past it, but I’m sure you’ll be intrigued to discover that it’s constantly full to the brim. Even in the cold winter months you’ll see people at the cute ornate tables all huddled together just so that they can eat there for the evening.
The Sashimi here is delicious and you can make up your own platter or pick a selection. The king crab is somewhat of a delicacy, it's fresh and clean you will clearly lust after that second portion; but don’t be tempted just to stick to one dish as it would be a shame to miss out on the variety of other dishes on offer.
So what makes Roka such a popular place to visit? Perhaps it’s that every mouthful is sublime, even when you think you can't possibly fit anymore food in, you just have to just sneak in one more before admitting defeat. Or perhaps it’s the fact that you’d struggle to find the majority of their food being served in conventional Japanese restaurants in London.
My favourite dishes at Roka are the eggplant in miso (which is so moorish that you have to keep taking little pieces between all of your fish plates) and the fois gras with ume (which I’m told is a Japanese plum). In terms of the fois gras with ume I always find that the receptors of my taste buds always go a little insane when tasting this and although it would be far too rich to eat all night I certainly wouldn't be adverse to giving it a darn good go.
Much like its sister restaurant, Zuma, Roka offers a brutally modern twist to the stale menu that can sometimes be found at other Japanese restaurants. They aren't afraid to try something new, but still provide you with the classic dishes if so you desire.
If you fancy drinks after dinner head down to the super funky bar that is nestled in the restaurant’s basement. In terms of décor, this place is a stark contrast to the main restaurant; it’s dark and moody with exposed iron and old barrels fused to the wall.
At the end if the bar you will find jar upon jar of pickled goods. I didn't dare ask what they all were and thought I should save that for next time, as I will definately be heading back again.
Above: Mysterious Pickled Jars @ Roka
Top Tip: Don't be disappointed if you can't get a table in the main restaurant. Ask to sit in the downstairs bar, this is a much more atmospheric place to dine and as an added bonus you get to sit in comfy sofas.
37 Charlotte Street,
London, W1T 1RR.