Sitting right in the heart of Bloomsbury, Roka Charlotte Street was the group’s first ever London site, and it remains one of the most beloved thanks to a combination of delicious Japanese cooking and sleek modern interiors. London is a city now obsessed with Japanese food, but Roka was part of the wave that really started it all, winning legions of fans with precise, delicious sushi platters and flavour-bomb dishes from the signature robata grill.
Inside, Roka’s contemporary styling has also won it many fans. The roaring robata grill (from which Roka borrows the first syllable of its name) sits at the heart of the restaurant, surrounded by counter dining spots on a gorgeous piece of carved wood. Floor-to-ceiling windows help to fill the whole space with natural light, which also lends the restaurant a rather glamorous evening atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Roka is beloved for its easy-going Japanese menu which has something for everyone. Sushi fans have long been coming to Roka for the excellent sushi and sashimi selection, that includes soft shell crab, cucumber and kimchi maki rolls with chilli mayonnaise, Wagyu tempura maki with karashi ponzu, and a spicy sashimi fish platter with cucumber shiso. You can also order sashimi and nigiri per piece, from a wide selection that includes shrimp, yellowfin, octopus and fatty tuna.
All that before you get to the robata grill section, which forms the heart of the Roka experience. Dishes like chicken skewers with spring onion, baby back pork ribs with sansho pepper, lamb cutlets with Korean spices and beef fillet with chilli and ginger are all cooked over the coals and flames. There are great seafood dishes too, including scallop skewers and Roka’s famous black cod marinated in yuzu miso.