Roka, the award winning Japanese restaurant

We are fond of Japanese food. Very much. This lead us to try the Roka restaurant. Roka is Zuma’s younger sibling (for those who know this reputed restaurant in Knightsbridge) and counts 4 locations in London. We went to the Charlotte Street restaurant, as we were intrigued by their lounge, the Shochu Lounge, where the ceiling is full of flowers. And the great food we ate there was all we were looking for to celebrate the start of summer…

ROKA Charlotte Street

The flagship of the ROKA group opened in 2004. The name ROKA comes from RO (“a meeting place where food and drinks are shared with friends”) and KA (“heat, warmth and an all-embracing energy surround”).
The ROKA restaurant is specialized in contemporary Japanese robatayaki cuisine, in which “items of food on skewers are slow-grilled over hot charcoal”. On the ground level of the restaurant, you can eat and see the chefs cooking around the central “robata” grill.
But we had other plans and headed down to the lounge…

The Shochu lounge

When going down to the Lounge, we had the sensation to reach a secret place… The softened atmosphere with red and pink shades and the murals adorning the walls were quite intimidating at first.
On the entrance wall we could spot many tanks of Shochu, this traditional Japanese spirit that gave the restaurant its name.
We loved the lounge with its small tables where we can settle in and feel we’re in our own little nook.
The staff was very nice and introduced us to the Roka food. We could not resist to the tasting menu, which did not disappoint us …

The Shochu’s tasting menu

After a delicious miso soup, with crab and chilly, we enjoyed a “seared salmon with sesame and ponzu dressing”. Simply awesome!
The sashimi platter was divinely fresh and tasty.
The gyozas were original with a strong taste of beef and ginger.
The sweet potato tempura was smooth in the mouth and became zingy when eaten with the yusu dipping sauce.
The spicy beef skewers were just succulent …
As well as the sea bream fillet …
At that time, we were obviously full and the 3 cocktails selected by the Chef to accompany the meals offered well deserved breaks. I have to say these cocktails were very original and delicious. But I say nothing more…you’ve got to try them!
Last but not least, the dessert: a piece of art with fruits, ice creams and crunchy nuts and chocolate.
That’s a true delice, which you eat without having to be hungry…
What else can I add? The tasting menu is really worth it, the place is quite unique in London… Those who love the Japanese Food will be delighted! Make sure to book a table in advance…

To find out more:
The Roka Restaurant: 37 charlotte street, London, W1T 1RR
The Roka website
The Ponzu sauce recipe

16 thoughts on “Roka, the award winning Japanese restaurant

  1. ROKA Restaurant says:
    Oh, BLUSH! What a wonderful read…thank you for making our afternoon! We are so pleased you enjoyed your time with us in SHOCHU and hope to have you back with us soon. Big love xx
  2. Olivier says:
    Tout est toujours poétique , simple et…clean, dans le ” haut de gamme” japonais. On comprend l’attirance que cela exerce
  3. Eric says:
    Fantastic place, thanks for the tip! The cherry flowers were not in season any longer, but their tasting menu (and the cocktails that went with it…) was absolutely fab. Definitely a keeper.

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