ROKA Charlotte Street

June 08, 2015
Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Friendly smiles, exceptional service, impeccable cooking, delicious cocktails - what's there not to love about Roka?

If you know me well (and so you should, I'm great company - except when I'm hangry) you'd know that I only eat my fish raw, with few exceptions. Ceviche or sashimi, if it's more than lightly seared, it's not passing my lips. Call me picky, call me strange, call me primitive; but I think that when it comes to fish nothing beats the freshness, flavour, and delicacy of raw meat - either artfully seasoned and marinated, or on its own, expertly sliced. I'd never dare prepare raw meat at home, so naturally I've sussed out London's best sushi bars. One of my favourites is Roka, Charlotte Street. Clearly Luxy shares the same sentiment (great minds think alike!) so dinner date at Roka it is! Warning; serious food porn ahead. Itadakimasu!

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Luxy and I arrived strategically early; to beat the dinner crowd, snag a window table (natural light, better for food photography), and because I was needed at the Royal Academy later that evening (alas, a food coma and the following drunken Paperchase shopping binge saw that plan go awry). The ambience was warm, cozy, and serene -- it was only at the end of our meal, when Luxy and I looked around us did we realised that the restaurant was brimming with diners. The intimacy of blissful ignorance - that's why you should always sit by the window. 

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

We could have sat by the central robata grill and enjoy the show, but I prefer enjoying the view from a distance, wouldn't you agree? Also, I forgot to take a photo of the menu and the menu on Roka's website isn't current, so excuse the lack of food descriptions. Just let the photos do the talking...or, you could just head down to Roka yourself...

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

The sashimi dishes at Roka always arrive artfully arranged on a bowl of ice, a work of art in itself and just too damn Instagrammable.

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Oh hello, little fellow...

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

My tuna tartar, drizzled with raw quail egg. Absolutely delicious. I only wish there was a larger portion, but then it would need a lot of quail's eggs. Perhaps the smallness of the tuna tartar makes me appreciate just how precious it is.

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

My lobster sashimi, absolutely beautiful, but it couldn't compare to the delicacy and rawness of my tuna tartar.

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Luxy and I shared the soft shelled crab which was so incredibly moreish! The sweetness and spiciness of the sauce, and the crispiness was just so. Props for the composition, too - Roka's aesthetics are happily as skilful as their cooking.

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

The absolute star of the meal was the black cod, beautifully and painstakingly marinated in sweet sauce. The flesh, so tender and buttery, fell apart from my loosely-held chopsticks where the fish was carefully sliced. Some of the seared fish skin stuck to the leaf but a bit of skilful prying with my chopsticks got every delicious piece off the plate and into my eager mouth. You know how I say I don't eat cooked fish? Well, I make the exception for black cod when it's prepared as well as this. Oh God, I'm craving this right now (it's nearly 1 in the morning)...

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

We may have been overambitious when we ordered the beef dumplings. Certainly, Luxy and I were far too full to appreciate it, but into our stomachs it went - waste not, want not. There's a recession going on, you know...


Luxy's pudding gave me serious food envy...

...but my dessert, Roka's signature chocolate pudding with molten green tea inside, didn't let me down.

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

Sashimi and sushi dinenr at Roka, Charlotte Street, London

As evidenced by my plate, scraped clean. Don't desert your desserts.

Our meal (including two cocktails and service charge) came to just under £170 and as far as I'm concerned is worth every penny, if not more. Do you feel the same about Roka? What are your favourite Japanese restaurants in London? x


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16 comments:

  1. yum Yum Yum I think I would much like to try the dessert! :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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  2. I am impressed by "Roka's signature chocolate pudding with molten green tea inside". It looks like a molten lava cake.

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  3. Hands down my favourite restaurant! I love this place!

    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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  4. Catherine LuxJune 08, 2015

    I love that photo of me!!! Thank you :)

    Such a great evening, loved our catch up over delicious food! We still need to try out City Social! Next payday?

    C x

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  5. Roka is definitely one of my favorites, i do love Chisou too, they've got branches in Chiswick, Mayfair and Knightsbridge and do delicious fresh sushi and Japanese dishes.


    Rosie xx

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  6. Your photos capture the food so well! I've been to Roka many years ago and loved their wagu beef! Eeek don't know if I could stomach the raw quails egg!

    Hanh x | hanhabelle

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  7. Mmmm wagyu beef! I'm craving some now! x

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  8. Oooh, I'll check out Chisou next time I'm West! x

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  9. Hehe you're welcome Luxy! CITY SOCIAL, YES! x

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  10. Roka is pretty magical isn't it Angie? That cod! x

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  11. It's pretty much a molten lava cake, with a Japanese twist! x

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  12. Kirsty HaynesJune 09, 2015

    Wow, this place looks incredible! The food looks absolutely delicious. Your photos are amazing too, what camera do you use?

    http://blessedbymeow.blogspot.co.uk

    =^.^=

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  13. I shoot on a Canon 600D, and these photos were taken with the 50mm 1.8 lens x

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  14. That raw quail egg and tuna tartare... absolutely salivating! Luxy's pudding looks spectacular! I want to eat everything hahaha.

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  15. You should, Michelle, it would give you serious delishagasm! x

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  16. jadiee bevanJune 15, 2015

    Oh My Gosh!! your blog is gawjus!! love the design !!

    had a great read :D keep up the good work

    would love to know your thoughts on my video

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    Have a nice day

    Jade

    ReplyDelete