6 pieces nigiri sushi; soft shelled crab; black cod; quail

Before I even start this post, I have to declare to the good free world that I am so in love with Roka Restaurant that I desperately want to go back. So if anyone feels the need for a third, fifth or seventeeth wheel on their dining party, please let me know. A word of warning though, I talk incessantly, I laugh too loud, I think I may chew loud too which I know is *ick* but I can’t help it and erm… I take a lot of photos of my food. I mean, I am a food blogger afterall.

So if you still wanna take me with, I’m free like right now and every night for the rest of the decade.


Right, back to the blawg, because I’m sure this is what you’re here for ~ a glimpse into my gluttonous life from a very safe distance.

Roka Restaurant is a gem hidden along Charlotte Street in London’s West End. Ok it’s not really hidden, it’s usually just that little bit out of financial reach that I kind of glaze over and head for Siam Central, or better still, Pizza Express for my greasy Italian lover, Sloppy Giuseppi (they don’t call him Sloppy for nuthin’). But Roka is always there, its Robata (open BBQ grill) wafting crazy aromatics into the street and luring me in.

And y’all know how I have zero self control when it comes to food.

So last weekend saw us having a “quick” dinner at Roka sans drinks and sans dessert. I know, what idiot does that? Oh, right. Moi. It was a quick feed squeezed in between the baking, and the serving of the baking. I know, considering I was still in my baking clothes, Pizza Express would have probably been a wiser option but I wore purrrty shoes! Surely that counts for something…?

Anyway… purty or not, the food was amazing.

beef tataki; foie gras umeshu; duck breast

We ordered a bunch of small dishes, some sushi and  a few Robata mains. The foie gras with umeshu plum & seaweed crisps completely knocked me off my feet. I’m not even sure what kind of foie gras it was (duck? goose?) but it was 110% Barry White smooth and left me so awash with emotion that I think, I honestly believe, I had tears in my eyes.

Another killer dish was the beef tataki with truffle & sesame. Thin slices of beef, rolled with sprouts, covered in a light sesame dressing and accompanied by slices of crisp, dried truffle. The flavours were strong, but not overpowering, and considering I’ve loved beef tataki for the better part of two decades, this is about as perfect as perfect gets in my world.

From the Robata we tried the marinated quail, duck breast and black cod in miso, all of which were infused with a delicate hint of smoke from the Robata grill. The mini quail drumsticks were succulently marinated, the duck an exquisite medium-rare (and a surprisingly large serve), and the black cod, an almost obligatory dish now, was sweet and silky.

I desperately wanted to try some Roka desserts (and could have probably swilled a cocktail or two or ten) but alas, awaiting us at home were dozens of banana muffins and vanilla cupcakes, two tubs of Haagen Dazs cookies & cream ice cream, and unbeknownst to us at the time, a sticky date pudding which had just imploded on itself.

C’est la vie, there’s always next time for Roka dessert.

ps: tomorrow we leave for the west coast of America for 10 days, so if I’m a little light on the blawg, it’s cos I’m Having Way Too Much Fun! Oh who am I kidding, imma find a way to blog when I’m away, I just can’t help myself. But if you need micro doses of catty, you can always follow me on twitter.

Note: for a more recent (January 2010) post on Roka, including desserts, click here.

Roka Restaurant
37 Charlotte Street
Fitzrovia, W1T 1RR
0207 580 6464

Roka on Urbanspoon

9 Thoughts on “Please tataki me with you to Roka! (and I promise I won’t chew loudly)

  1. Spooky – I’m going there next Wednesday but it’ll be off-blog. Sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy a good old fashioned meal out without dissecting everything you eat !

  2. And have a good time on holiday !

  3. have a great trip!

  4. Mr Noodles: I agree, I always take photos cos I just do that by default but have so many meals that I haven’t blogged about. Enjoy Roka, it really is amazing and try the foie gras!

    mc: I SHALL 😀

  5. I love Roka! It’s still one of my favourite restaurants in London, and my favourite place to sit is at the counter around the grill. The simplest things are the best, asparagus, and the scallops (and how could you not have the desserts?!)

  6. Gosh! This place sounds like Horoki in Melbourne and I just blogged about it. The simple foods are the best and have fun travelling babe!

  7. Catty – we were lazy and went for the tasting menu and it was ALL good. Unlike you, I’m normally ambivalent about desserts but I was blown away by the dessert platter – I still can’t believe you skipped the desserts !

  8. Helen, Mr Noodles: I know I know, I am 150% having dessert next time. What was I thinking? Momentary insanity 🙂

  9. I liked the post and your writing style. I’m adding you to my RSS reader.

    Greetings from Tim. 🙂

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