Roka Canary Wharf
Roka Canary Wharf
Roka Canary Wharf
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SquareMeal Review of Roka Canary Wharf

Silver Award

Serving up high glamour among all that bamboo and polished wood, Roka is the antithesis of a modest Japanese restaurant – and that makes it a natural victor among Canary Wharf’s suited-and-booted client-friendly offerings. Readers love the ambience created by a boisterous, enthusiastic crowd, not to mention the “very attentive service” and consistently top-notch food. The bar specialises in shochu (you can even keep a personalised jar for repeat visits), and there’s a terrace too, but the restaurant would argue that the heart of the operation is the robata grill with its line-up of fire-licked specialities such as sweet potato baked in a bamboo husk or baby back ribs in a spiced ‘master stock’ glaze. Elsewhere, you’ll find well-made modern-day sushi and sashimi, “wonderfully delicious” snacks (black cod, crab and crayfish dumplings, say), and specialities such as cedar-roast baby chicken. If you’re here outside the working week, try the all-inclusive koten brunch.

 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Japanese
Ambience
Cool, Fun, Glamorous, Unique
Food Occasions
Brunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
People
Child friendly, Romantic, Special occasions

Location for Roka Canary Wharf

4 Park Pavilion, 40 Canada Square, London, E14 5FW

020 7636 5228

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Fri 11.45am-3pm Sat-Sun 11.30am-4pm Mon-Sun 5.30-11pm (Sun -10pm)

Reviews of Roka Canary Wharf

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18 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Alex G

Hai!
25 June 2019  

Canary Wharf gets better. While I have no desire to work there again, when I did – in the early 2000s – it was a culinary graveyard. Things have moved on quite a bit since then and credit to the backers of Roka that they astutely chose Canary Wharf for their second outlet, opening it some five years before either its Mayfair or Aldwych branches. Follow the money was perhaps the principle. Admittedly, it took me a full decade to visit this venue, but a recent lunchtime meal impressed both me and my comrade. Nestled high on the north east corner of Cabot Square, diners enjoy a capacious room as well as a roof terrace from which to spy on nearby goings-on, cocktail in hand. The venue is all about glamour, but in a much more subtle and sophisticated way than, say, its more bling-oriented Mayfair cousin. There is a lot of polished wood and bamboo as well as an open kitchen to marvel at, although the lighting – at least on a drab grey lunchtime – seemed inappropriate; it was too dark and made the place somewhat unpleasantly eerie, muting the atmosphere. An easy problem to fix, however. Service was generally top notch and professional, again a marked contrast to my less than positive recent visits to the Mayfair branch. The menu at Roka (all venues) can be somewhat bewildering, with diners facing a potential tyranny of choice. It being a lunchtime, and a working occasion too, we took the pressure out of choosing and opted for the set menu. At £35/head, while not cheap per se, it gives a very good introduction to Roka’s capabilities. Diners get to share five small dishes and then select one main (out of a range of three), which is served with steamed rice. Presentation is emphasised throughout, although food as an art form is, of course, nothing new to the Japanese. From our early dishes, we marvelled particularly at the spicy tuna maki rolls, which were not only aesthetically pleasing, but tasty too. Vegetable tempura, by contrast, was somewhat more disappointing in its blandness. The culinary highlight, however, was the main, which comprised a seam bream fillet served with ryotei miso and red onion. The flesh of the fish was incredibly soft, and the miso paste was the epitome of the concept of the umami: a savoury, smoky, salty sensation which combined both mustard and onion across its spectrum. For the bream dish alone, I would return. If only all Roka experiences could be as satisfying as this one.

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Ms/Mrs. Paula T

Fab place for Sunday Lunch!!!
03 June 2019   - Verified Diner

Had a great time, delicious food and attentive staff.  Would recommend

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Ms/Mrs. Nina K

Amazing, as always!
23 May 2016  
We have been to Roka many times and each and every time we have an amazing meal! Wonderfully delicious!
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Ms/Mrs. Charlotte H

Lovely restaurant, good location
07 April 2016  
The food at Roka is always very good and the waiting staff and very attentive, will return here again. Good for client meetings in Canary Wharf.
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drew H

What's the rush?
30 December 2015  
I am something of a Roka veteran, having dined regularly at most of their restaurants with both clients and friends/family for many years. A recent dinner at Charlotte St. was one of my best in London with fantastic food and service that was informed, perceptive, accommodating and clearly focussed on enhancing our dining experience. So it was with eager anticipation that I booked a table for dinner at Canary Wharf for a family dinner with my wife and adult sons. We arrived and were shown to our table, ordered water, pre dinner drinks and spicy edamame, all of which arrived promptly as I studied the menu and wine list. The waitress appeared and asked if I needed some help with the menu but I was ready to order. She was confused when I ordered sashimi in multiples (2 orders =6 pieces, 3=9 etc) and had to return to check if we wanted 2 pieces of o-toro or 6. The various portion sizes (5 dumplings, 6 pieces of sushi rolls) and multiples does not make things easy, something my intuitive waiter at Charlotte St. had made much simpler. The sommelier appeared, questioned whether I really wanted the bottle of Mersault I ordered and tried hard to talk me into another style or at least a cheaper bottle. My persistence ended not with success but with an admission that they had run out and a renewed sales pitch for the other bottle to which I had little choice but to succumb. Not big issues, but a growing list of irks was starting to have an effect. The wine soon arrived and proved a fine alternative, but wasn't cold enough and wouldn't ever be as glasses were refilled after every half sip. Sadly the enthusiasm for bringing drinks didn't extend to my sons' beers and they had several attempts before they were granted a refill. The food arrived and the race was on. Sashimi and sushi in its many guises, hamachi with truffles, dumplings, rock shrimp and padron pepper tempura all arrived within a minute of each other, crowding the table and sending both our vision and tastebuds into sensory overload. We had been hungry and the food was exquisite as always, but wouldn't it have been better to bring the dishes one or two at a time, allowing us to enjoy them before the next delicious treats arrived? Instead we were bombarded with dishes as if the kitchen was racing to serve us. No time to rest though. The main dishes arrived even as my wife was on her way to the ladies' and the rest (apart from half the scallops - the old 2 orders of, not 2 scallops dilemma again) before she returned. Not exactly Michelin service etiquette. The lamb cutlets were delicious as was the cod but, had we not had to wait another 8 minutes for the other scallops, the entire meal would have been served in only 24 minutes. Having been bombarded with food for the last half hour, we couldn't even consider dessert. Coffee took longer to arrive than the whole meal, earning Roka a dubious reprieve from turning our table within an hour. The food was delicious but the pace with which it was served was more suited to a Pizza Hut training academy than a fine dining establishment. I will not be in as much of a hurry to return to Roka Canary Wharf as they seemed to be to get us out the door.
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Loved it
12 June 2015  
Went for lunch and it was amazing, service is second to none really enjoyed it
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Mr. Stuart C

21 April 2014  
When I worked in Canary Wharf, it lacked decent restaurants so we were all delighted when Roka added Canada Sq to its Charlotte Street operation. Since moving, I have been back and it was still offering much the same. The frequent debate is rating Nobu, Roka, Zuma and Hakkasan and everyone has their favourite. I would say that Roka is right up there but would probably not recommend CW unless you're in the vicinity. it just seems to lack that special something that Charlotte St and Mayfair most definitely do have. That said, the food remains excellent. Yellowfin tuna, rock shrimp tempura and blackened cod and I'm a happy man.
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Ms/Mrs. Lucy L

Never fails to impress
08 January 2014  
Working in Canary Wharf I go to Roka often but I especially like my annual Christmas jaunt with my out of town girls. They are always blown away by the food – as am I. Delicious hot favourites in the black cod and the ribs along with superb sushi and soups – waiters always on standby with suggestions and tips. Pre dinner cocktails are always top class and the service is excellent and consistent. Never fails to impress.
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Ms/Mrs. Cristina M

Amazing sushi
18 November 2013  
Having dined at the trendy Charlotte Street branch of Roka I was somewhat dubious whether the Canary Whalf branch could live up to the same expectations – well I wasn't disappointed. Having spend an hour ice skating on the rink directly opposite the restaurant, my partner, our 6 year old daughter and I went into Roka for dinner – our request of a window table was acknowledged and granted. The food, what can I say – was out of this world, and presented really quickly. We had a mix of various sushi (spicy tuna, yellowtail and asparagus, salmon/avocado etc) – all of which were delightful, the yellowtail sashimi in truffle sauce was outstanding – our six year old hogged this particular plate to herself! The black cod, is expensive, but worth every penny. At nearly £200 with alcohol it is not a cheap night out – but the food and atmosphere (hedkandi type relaxed but clubby music on the Saturday night we visited) is well worth splashing out. Do book – the restaurant was packed.
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Mr. Lawrence R

Excellent all round
06 August 2013  
An all round fantastic restaurant, we have been to Zuma and I was considering Oblix (which has mixed reviews) however the reviews looked great for Roka. Therefore my wife and I went with good expectations to Charlotte Street. We were not disappointed. The restaurant has outstanding presentation and a great atmosphere. We had two courses which included Tuna tataki and Seabass with no wine and the price was under £60, which is pretty good for such a top end restaurant. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to try great food and likes cutting edge style. You won't be disappointed.
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