First of all a confession. I may have been too engrossed in gossip with long-lost friends that I didn’t pay full attention to the food, oops.
However, I could tell Roka was very good – attentive service, interesting menu and delicate cooking. We started with fantastic cocktails – a green tea martini and cherry blossom bellini for around £9 each. Then we tucked into the tapas-style sharing menu (isn’t everywhere tapas-style nowadays?!), ordering a mix of sashimi, seafood and fish, dumplings and tempura.
Soft-shell crab and seafood sashimi
Vegetable tempura was light and crisp with an unusual dipping sauce, soft shell crab was good but not mind-blowing; the sashimi was really tasty and delicate; salmon teriyaki was tender but a little undercooked; and the pork dumplings absolutely delicious and my favourite of the mains. I’d defnitely like to come back and try some more things on the menu though, especially the beef dishes.
Deliiiicious pork dumplings
Slightly disappointing salmon teriyaki
After Lady B turned up, they couldn’t squish three of us on one table (its a posh place innit) so we all trooped outside on a lovely balmy evening to drink a bottle of grenache (at £24, its the cheapest of a very expensivo wine list) in the pavement seats while Lady B guzzled some veggie dishes (broccoli and fried egg plant) which she said were delicious. We finished with a most incredible almond cake with caramel ice cream (faaabulous) and a so-so green tea creme brulee.
Amaaaazing melt in the mouth almond cake
Green tea creme brulee
As I said previously, I’d like to go back another time and pay a bit more attention to the food – I also feel I don’t know enough about Japanese food to order well so I’d probably take my friend Esmerelda who lived in Tokyo. But, even engrossed in chat, I was impressed at the service and dishes. A cocktail, 1/3rd bottle of wine, 3 sharing plates each and sharing a pud was £45 each. Not cheap, but perfect for a special occasion or a date, or you could just sit outside with friends to sip cocktails and nibble a few small plates in the sun.