Robata at Roka – fine dining for treat times
For a special occasion this evening, K and I headed to Roka for some seriously special Japanese robata (charcoal grilled) food. We chose this branch for its menu (see Roka Mayfair menu) which includes black cod, a favourite of mine.
We ordered a bottle of dry white wine by La Croix Belle wine estate @ £34.00 – appropriate for a mild Spring evening, and spicy dishes and fish.
While the premium tasting menu looked quite appealing (10 set dishes @ £88.00 each) it seemed like a lazy option. We preferred the enjoyment of reading all of the menu and ordering exactly what we wanted.
As food was arriving at the neighbouring table, it was quite a challenge not to simply copy what they had – it smelt amazing. We took their recommendation for the fried aubergine salad, and were glad we did.
For starters, we shared these plates:
– Age nasu no goma-ae @ £6.60
fried aubergine, sesame miso and katsuobushi
– Yakitori-negima yaki @ £5.90
chicken skewers with spring onion
– Broccoli no shinme, shoga to moromi miso @ £5.60
tenderstem broccoli, ginger and moromi miso
– Beef gyoza @ £9.30
with pickled cucumber and a soy based sauce
– Nigiri unagi @ £6.90
two pieces of freshwater eel sushi
This fried aubergine with sesame miso was a recommendation worth sharing. Absolutely gorgeous. And the eel nigiri (pictured below) was the best I’ve had in the UK – we ordered two portions.
For main course, we shared:
– Kihada maguro no tataki @ £12.60
yellowfin tuna tataki with apple mustard dressing
– Gyuhireniku no pirikara yakiniku @ £24.30
spicy beef fillet with chilli, ginger and spring onion
and, saving the best ’til last…
– Gindara no saikyo-jaki @ £37.60
black cod marinated in yuzu miso
Just divine. This black cod may seem a bit pricey @ £37.60 but it absolutely blew me away. And you can’t put a price on that.
The kitchen is open plan in the centre of the restaurant, so you can see the food being cooked on the robata grills. It’s a bit like posh BBQ-ing really.
Our total bill for two came to £185.21 including service.
The verdict: Perfectly prepared and beautifully presented food that’s so incredibly tasty, it blew me away. Full marks to the kitchen. Service was at odds (either too much – we went from different servers descending on us one after the other, to non-existent). If you like Japanese food, you’ll love Roka.
– Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
– Type: Japanese, Robata
– Address: 30 North Audley Street, London
– Postcode: W1K 6ZF
– Nearest station: Bond Street, Green Park
– Website + menus: Roka Mayfair website
– Roka Mayfair photos: Roka Mayfair photos on flickr
– Location: Roka Mayfair map
Filed under: Best of..., Japanese, LardButty food / restaurant reviews | Tagged: 4.5 / 5, 4.5/5, black cod, blackened cod, grill, Japanese, Lardbutty, LardButty London, London, Mayfair, North Audley Street, robata, robata grill, Roka, Roka Mayfair | Leave a comment »