ROKA - Charlotte Street
37 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1RR
The original ROKA restaurant that opened in 2004, ROKA Charlotte Street, is located in Fitzrovia and features Shochu bar and lounge below. The restaurant’s sleek, wood-panelled interior has been carefully designed to give central prominence to the robata grill, which is at the heart of the ROKA kitchen. ROKA’s stunning design is perfectly matched by the exquisite food and cocktails. If the expression ‘you eat with your eyes’ is indeed true, then ROKA is perhaps peerless in this regard. The sashimi selection, for example, is beautifully presented – thin slices of tuna, sea bass and salmon sit atop a bowl of ice that resembles a sculpture. My yellowtail sashimi salad, served with lemon, chilli and ginger, was the perfect starter. Wagyu beef nigiri with Oscietra caviar boasted an equally impressive confluence of flavours. To add a little spice to proceedings, we highly recommend the crispy rock lobster tempura with sansho pepper salt, served with yuzu kosho mayonnaise. Our beef, ginger and sesame dumplings were outstanding. Black cod is ROKA’s signature and the most popular dish on the menu, and rightly so. Marinated in yuzu miso, the cod is unbelievably moreish. The restaurant offers a superb selection of wine, beer and, of course Japanese sake and shochu. A glass of sake gives an umami flavour that pairs well with the richness of the robata dishes, and Kirin beer refreshes the palate. For a non-alcoholic treat, why not try the zingy Ginger Ninja cocktail? For dessert, we opted for the tasting platter. The dark chocolate and green tea pudding was rich, and the pear ice cream proved an inventive accompaniment. A selection of refreshing sorbets and fruit rounded off a spectacular meal that wasn’t to be forgotten.