By now you probably think I’m employed by Roka, I’ve gone on about the restaurants so many times on my blog. But I’m not…I just really think it’s a restaurant brand that offers the most amazing food in a fun and super-stylish environment. I’ve already blogged about Roka Mayfair and Roka Aldwych (twice) but this time I wanted to tell you about the London original: Roka Charlotte Street.
It’s always a celebration when my friend Traze comes to stay, she lives in Bristol so we don’t get to see each other that often. But when we do, lots of food and alcohol is definitely going to be involved. Traze is one of biggest food lovers I know and as she was still yet to try the delights of Roka, I booked us in for a champagne-fuelled Saturday night.
First up was tuna tataki with apple mustard dressing, an absolute favourite of mine. Buttery soft tuna contrasting with the perfectly prepared and slightly tart dressing and a delicious crunch of salad inside.
Alongside a beautifully presented tuna tartar with accompaniments of quails egg and caviar.
As usual Roka Charlotte Street was packed and there wasn’t one empty table or a spare seat around the central robata grill. Though all the menus are similar, if I had to choose a favourite venue I’d choose Roka Mayfair as I love the intimacy for a date night. But Roka Charlotte Street would be my choice for a group night out particularly because of the rather sexy subterranean bar, Shochu Lounge, which serves Japanese cocktails and Shochu infusions. One of my blogger friends, Andrea, even has her own jar of Shochu kept in the bar’s bookcase so she can pop in and have some whenever she likes!
Back to the food, I love the tempura prawns in Roka, the prawns themselves are big and fat and the batter is not all greasy. For me the only tempura prawns in London that beat Roka’s is the rock shrimp tempura at Sushi Samba – hot, crisp and covered with spicy mayo. Honestly, one portion is never enough.
Sushi rolls of choice were spicy tuna and amazing soft shell crab maki rolls with chilli mayo. Literally perfect and my favourite part of the meal.
One word of advice, I’d take your time when selecting food and just order bit by bit as all of these plates were bought at the same time and we felt a bit rushed, plus they didn’t all fit on the table. Mr S and I usually like to order a couple of things and keep the menu and order more later.
Traze had seen the black cod, crab and crayfish dumplings on my blog before and she had no doubt that we would be ordering the perfectly steamed parcels full of juicy seafood.
Our final savoury course was this perfectly succulent chicken prepared on the robata grill. I love the skewers served at Roka and I also highly recommend the asparagus served with sweet soy and sesame for a great vegetarian option. Looking back on our choices I’m surprised that we didn’t order more – I’m normally incredibly greedy at Roka – but we had also been out for lunch and we had a hen do to get to after dinner. But of course we had to order the signature Roka dessert platter.
The platter comes in a number of sizes and we conservatively ordered a small one and as were celebrating Traze’s birthday we also received a special message. The platter comes loaded with fruit, ice cream and sorbet but best of all is the dark chocolate and green tea pudding…if you can’t fit in the dessert platter I’d order that alone!
As usual it was an excellent feast at Roka Charlotte Street and great for Traze to see what I’ve been going on about all this time!
Roka Charlotte Street
37 Charlotte Street
020 7580 6464