When Roka opened a fourth branch in Aldwych, I was keen to check it out. Roka is my favourite sushi restaurant in London with faultless food, a sexy and seductive atmosphere and killer cocktails – I’ve never had a bad experience there.
After a fun meal at Hibiscus back in January, Roka Aldwych was next on the list for some fellow bloggers and I. Joining me were Gary from The Foodaholic, Mehreen from Wrap your Lips Around This and Tahira from Ramblings of a Food Addict. Over the past year, we’ve got to know each other really well and look forward to these nights out with great anticipation.
Starting off at the bar, I chose a Lipstick Rose cocktail, mostly based on the fact that I liked the name. The pretty pink blend contained rose petal vodka, raspberry and violet, peychaud’s bitter and champagne. Not too sweet and not too sour, just perfect. The other girls joined with the champagne cocktail while Gary chose a Negroni.
As well as it being the newest branch of Roka, Aldwych is also the biggest…I was worried that this meant that it might some ginormous space but actually it was still intimate with the signature robata grill in the centre of the room.
We got to our table and ordered a bottle of champagne, to start as we meant to carry on…
I’ve been to Roka in Charlotte Street a fair few times, and Mr S and I tried out Roka Mayfair last year for my birthday. By now I’ve got to know my favourite dishes and what I like to order so we decided to shun the tasting menu and the other bloggers pretty much put their faith in me.
We started with a yellow tail sashimi with truffle yuzu, a delicious dish that combines the heady flavour of truffle with the citrusy yuzu. For me this is a must order, it’s pretty much a perfect dish.
Sushi was a mix of California rolls and my absolute favourite, spicy tuna.
The sashimi at Roka is beautifully prepared and presented, and I would definitely recommend a mixed platter to try a bit of everything: salmon, tuna, octopus were all perfectly cut.
We also had a tuna tartare with our rare selection which is prepared with a quails egg and caviar on a little wooden spoon. Gary ably mixed it together and we all had a small morsel, we really needed one each it was so good!
Our last raw dish was the very delicious tuna tataki with apple mustard.
The crispy prawns are another favourite of mine at Roka, the batter is light and crunchy and totally non-greasy and perfect with the accompanying chilli dressing.
Gyoza filled with black cod, crab and crayfish were delicious pillows of delight and I loved the chilli edamame dressing.
Soft shell crab with a spicy dressing.
Don’t you just love all those nibbly sharing bits that you get at the beginning when you go for a Japanese banquet, I could almost have those all night and not bother with main courses.
But of course, it would be rude not to.
You can never go wrong with the silky texture and sweet / salty taste of a perfectly cooked piece of black cod.
Beautifully cooked duck smoked in a banana leaf was a dish I’d never tried before, but it came highly recommended by Mehreen. It was an excellent choice, cooked rare and paired beautifully with kumquat.
Roka even know how to make the simple asparagus totally sublime.
A night at Roka wouldn’t be complete without the dessert platter. Isn’t it epic? Perhaps the best dessert platter I’ve had in London.
Seriously photos should not be taken at the end of the night after too many cocktails, champagne and wine. Thank God for the invention of flattering filters so I can still include a photo of us happy bunch of bloggers after our incredible meal at Roka. As expected the restaurant in Aldwych is every bit as good as Charlotte Street and Mayfair. I loved it!
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