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|Address:||37 Charlotte Street, London W1T 1RR|
|Tel:||020 7580 6464|
|Price: £88.00||Wine: £24.00||Champagne: £46.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-3.30pm (Sat-Sun 12.30-4pm) 5.30-11.30pm (Sun -10.30pm)|
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Being the younger sibling of one of London's hottest restaurants Zuma, Roka had a lot to live up to, and I wasn't disappointed.
Upstairs is the main dining area, where patrons can choose either to reserve a table (2 hour time slot is the general norm) or you can turn up and wait for a table at the counter (probably not the best option if dining with a group larger than 3 people). The decor and layout is contemporary and fresh. During the summer months there are tables on Charlotte Street, which makes for some excellent alfresco dining.
The food does not disappoint. This is top quality Japanese cuisine. One of my favourites is the tuna tartar, served of course with a quails egg. The quality of the sushi and the sashimi is excellent.
Downstairs is Roka's bar area the Shochu Lounge. A subterranean lair where you can try one of the many varieties of shochu (a japanese shot normally of distilled barley, sweet potatoe, or rice, and typically 25% alcohol) or one of the many japanese themed cocktails. You can book a table in the Shochu Lounge, but I would advise against it as service can be terrible. Having eaten in both the upstairs restaurant area and downstairs lounge on several occasions, the restaurant is perfect for grabbing a bite to eat, before heading downstairs to continue the evening.
However, despite Roka being a fantastic japanese restaurant and definitely worth a visit, it does not compare to its elder sister Zuma. For the price you are paying, the atmosphere, quality of food, and ambience at Zuma is far superior, although it is this same reason why you may find it more difficult to snag table reservation at Zuma than at Roka.