Roka Charlotte Street 333

37 Charlotte Street , London, W1T 1RR

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SquareMeal Review of Roka Charlotte Street

SquareMeal London Hot 100 2018A Fitzrovia hit since launching in 2004, Roka’s trailblazing modern Japanese cuisine and “sophisticated atmosphere” are still a universal smash with readers. Some enjoy “chilling out”, others love its “romantic vibe”, but the expertly fashioned food is what really turns heads. Most diners are old hands at navigating a menu packed with modern-day classics (black cod in yuzu miso, wafer-thin truffled yellowtail sashimi, scallop and shiso lollipops, baby spinach in creamy sesame dressing) although clued-up staff still offer ever-changing seasonal tips – perhaps grilled cobia fish with mushrooms and truffle, or indulgent Wagyu tartare sushi rolls topped with caviar. The sleek glass-fronted room is all polished wood and industrial ceilings, with in-demand seats ringing the frantic action around the fierce robata grill (mercifully with an efficient extraction system). Prices merit either an expense account, or a very careful eye, so maybe grab a tasting menu to keep bills in check or skip the ostentatious dessert platters. Wine fits the top-end bill, but eye-opening saké and classy, shochu-based cocktails steal the show.

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7.5

Food & Drink: 8.7

Service: 7.2

Atmosphere: 7.4

Value: 6.6

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Maria F. 31 May 2016

Amazing Japanese resto, superb food, great quality produce, lovely service, sophisticated atmosphere yet relaxed that you could really chill out. It is definitely one of my favourite restaurants in London.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Monikasays platinum reviewer 04 September 2013

Roka on Charlotte street still works for glam, taste sensation, cocktail fuelled evenings for a group of couples or with the girls. The main attraction is the food, spot on Japanese …the delectable buttery black cod (just as good as versions in Nobu and Zuma), yummy chicken yakitori, light gyoza, the freshest beautiful sashimi… If you can't get a table up top (smart buzzy restaurant), go to the bar below (Shochu lounge, same high-end Japanese food, buzzier, darker, sexier..). You can always count on Roka to rock your night. I have been 10 times at least and I will keep going. PS not cheap but so worth it for the not so ubiquitous black cod.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Rosie V. 11 August 2013

Try the butterfish tataki! Its not the most extravagant dish on the menu (thank goodness!) but it is absolutely divine & i haven't had anything like it anywhere else. Amazing! One word of caution – I really like sitting at the bar around the grill but the chefs do shout a lot and seem to be getting louder and louder. Doesn't make for a very relaxed (or intimate) dinner for 2…

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Nancee M. 03 March 2013

Compliments to Ken and Dodghe and the rest of Roka's staff. My family had great Japanese food experience and excellent customer service. Food are palatable and would highly recommend them. I had black cod, soft spider crab maki and yellowtail which are really yummy . My family will definitely visit them again. It could be very busy so book in advance , however Roka delivers a rated-5-star in almost everything. Well done Roka!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 3.0

Gary F. 25 February 2013

Very over hyped restaurant in my view. Service is terrible – I waited for half an hour for my guest to arrive only to find out they had sat her at a different table round the corner at the opposite end of the restaurant despite her having given my name (under which the table was booked), with no apology afterwards let alone a comp drink or anything. I was asked if I wanted edamame at the start and they never arrived. We were given a bowl of rice with nothing to serve it with and fish with nothing to cut it with (yes I go to a lot of Japanese restaurants & know things are different but still…) Tables are very very close together which I hate (the couple on one side were so interested in what we were talking about I almost invited them to join us). Yes food is good – but then no better than other Japanese restaurants you could go to.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

London Gourmet platinum reviewer 28 January 2013

If you love zuma you'll love this place (and other way around) as it's obviously the same underlying base concept. If one can say so give the price tag here you could almost describe it as the slightly more downscale and relaxed (and marginally cheaper) version of zuma. Probably just a little less buzz than its sibling also due to the fact that the associated bar is downstais from the actual restaurant. Food is outstanding and servce very attentive.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Marc K. 21 January 2013

We eat here several times a year, for both dinner and as an occasional post-shopping treat for lunch. The food is always of the same fresh, well prepared and visually stunning standard you would hope for. We have introduced lots of our foodie friends to ROKA and they all now have this place as one of their go to venues. Our favourites are the Butterfish Tataki, King Crab Wasabi rice hotpot (looks like porridge with green bits in it, but it packs some amazing flavours and textures with the green fish eggs that pop in your mouth), Korean Lamb Cutlets are to die for (always perfectly cooked with a pretty red/pink centre and a spicy adobe). If you haven't been and want something that will delight all your senses, then book it now, you will not be disappointed.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 1.0

David D. 26 November 2012

Visited Roka this evening and had a very dissapointing experience, It used to be an innovative fusion/Japanese restaurant that is now very ordinary as very high prices. There is very little difference between Roka and your local Sushi restaurant, in fact a number that I go to are much better at half the price. To night the service was awful with incorrect dishes being served to us on three different occasions and the dishes that we did order either were undercooked (Blackened Cod £ 29 a portion) or did'nt arrive at all because the waitress was in too much of a hurry to listen to the order. What did arrive (baby back ribs) were tough and the maki rolls were not up to standard. The service centered on trying to pour as much mineral water as possble into our glasses as quickly as possible so as to trigger the opening of a new one and the removal of our plates almost before we had finished eating. Altogether a lousy night out for £200 for four without any wine, cocktails, liquor, deserts or coffee.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

GH platinum reviewer 21 September 2012

Roka was a disappointment- starting from incompetent people trying to find reservation. We went down to the bar to have a pre-dinner drink. Bar scene was average no sign of glamour whatsoever. Upstairs the tables were pushed close to each other with no aesthetic beauty. The servers definitely need more training as we finished dinner yet there was no sign of rice or asparagus. The vodka and diet coke despite asking for ice four times came without ice! From a sister restaurant of Zuma, I expected a lot better. What a waste of an evening!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Steven F. 23 May 2012

I'm from the USA, where sushi is a passion. I'm pleased to say that Roka, though not strictly a Japanese menu, serves lovely innovative food in a charming and friendly setting. Service was instructive as well as attentive, with the waiter steering our choices to the freshest and best of the day. The sashimi first, although quite modest in quantity for the £28 price, was totally fresh and beautifully plated. The lamb chops with Korean spices, which I had never before encountered in a Japanese restaurant, was so good that we fought over the last piece. Even the vegetables, which usually receive little attention from the chef, we're beautifully grilled and sauced, and one portion serves two generously. The cooking staff, who perform before your eyes, are young and energetic and clearly are proud of their work, as they should be. As is in general the case with Japanese restaurants, the prices are rather steep owing to the high ingredient costs, but in this case you get very good value for your money. It is unique. It is very good. You will certainly have an enjoyable meal.

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