Roka

Address: 37 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 1RR, United Kingdom
Telephone: 020 7580 6464

- Expensive

4.7

An international team of chefs serving some of the most exciting Japanese food in London.

Roka is such a treat. The food’s amazing, the room is glamorous, the décor’s inspired. There’s a perpetually cool bar in the basement too. What more could you want for a night out? It all works round a huge square central robata grill: take a seat at the stunning timber counter and watch the chefs at work, or book a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows to indulge in people watching.

Food and drink
4.8
90%
Service
3.7
90%
Food and drink
4.8
90%
Value for money
3.7
90%
Ambience
4.8
90%
Location
4.2
90%

Food and drink

Although the robatayaki takes centre stage, the menu also covers sushi and sashimi, salads, soups and other dishes. I always order the rice hotpot with king crab and wasabi tobiko (flying fish roe), and from there go however the mood takes us – in spring, probably asparagus with sweet soy and sesame from the grill, at other times the aubergine in mirin, ginger and soy. Scallop skewers with shiso, and glazed baby back ribs with cashew nuts are hard to resist too. The cooking’s light, so you’ll likely have room for the desserts in sensational combinations such as mango and almond cake with miso and caramel ice-cream.

Ambience

Buzzy, for sure. In good weather they push back the glass doors to give an al fresco vibe indoors (whether or not you’d actually want a pavement table is another matter). Expect a media business crowd in the day, and couples in the evening.

Service

Can be very good, but also sometimes snooty.

Location

Wrapped around a corner on one of London’s favourite restaurant streets.

Price advice

Expect to pay £70 a head including drinks. Wines start at £24 a bottle; you may save a little by simply having tea, or a modest sake or shochu.

Branches

There’s a branch in Canada Square, one of the best things to happen to Canary Wharf’s dining scene in a long time – see website for details. Sister restaurant Zuma in Knightsbridge is also very good, though more ostentatious.

Recommended for

  • Business travellers
  • Couples
  • Foodies
  • Great views / scenery
  • Nightlife
  • People watching
  • Trendiness
  • Design and architecture

Details