The Omakase continues… this time at Roka, Charlotte Street.
Being a rather cold and rainy/sleety day, it didn’t take much to persuade ourselves to go somewhere to keep warm and enjoy what we enjoy doing most… eat! So on this ocassion we turned to Roka. Having mostly experienced their Shochu lounge, I was glad for the opportunity to try their restaurant again and this time without a doubt, we didn’t look at the menu in detail, but made the decision of – let’s go omakase!
The contrast on this occasion to the last Japanese Restaurant is the relaxed atmosphere, even the guests were more interested within their own party (quite a few business lunch guests) or just the enjoyment of the food (I presumed). Our neighbouring table was fascinated by the amount of food that was being delivered to our table. For us, it was just the understanding of what we were getting, as expecting omakase, psychologically we were thinking of a dish per person. In this case, practicalities were taken (thankfully), and though some dishes were shared, we did conclude that it would have been too much to have a single dish per person. So adjusting our thought expectations or rather, we should have just have tried to clear our minds of any expectations whatsoever and enjoy the dishes as they were brought out for us to taste.
Getting more relaxed with asking everyone to stop before attacking into the meal so that I could take photos of the dishes, on this occasion I brought along my Leica V-Lux4 to capture our meal. Enjoyment of food is very “catchy” – as all on our table got into taking photos of the dishes that arrived, the waiting staff were most accommodating, as well as the guests on neighbouring tables. Everyone seemed to get into the swing of the “excitement” that we were seemingly generating, so much as to recommend their viewing angle as the angle to take a photograph from, or discussing how the dish tasted, looked, etc..
So as you can see from the selection of images below, we had a full range of dishes to try.
I was curious to compare this soft shell crab sushi roll as I have a favourite restaurant that serves this dish particularly well called Pham Sushi . Needless to say, very comparable!
Gyoza, and I think this was served for something familiar to the diners as part of the tasting menu.
A mass of asparagus looked harmless enough… the thought of “is this the only green vegetable we are getting?” crossed my mind, and by the time I ate through my portion, I thought I had had too much asparagus!
The aubergine dish here needed to be captured by video I think (which one of the party on the table did manage to do) It was the eerie movement of the bonito flakes that made us observe this dish for a while instead of tucking into it.
I think Black Cod seems to be the fashionable dish at the moment, I can only quote my fellow diners that “it was very good” as if you have read my previous blogs, I have mentioned my strange inability of eating cooked fish.
Fancy dessert? After all the previous dishes, to be presented by this below, we definitely took the opportunity to photograph it which also gave ourselves some breathing space and hopefully time before commencing with the dessert tasting. I have to side with the Italians (this suggestion was introduced to me when I worked in Milan): when feeling full and with still many dishes yet to sample – a small grappa can burn a nice hole in your system so that you can carry on tasting!
I couldn’t say we finished the whole dessert mountain, but we did make a good stab at it!
I know it feels like we were rolling around with full stomachs after… yes in a way, but Japanese food doesn’t give you that over the top heavy feeling even after this many dishes (unless of course you ate all that chocolate fondant cake!).
Omakase is definitely the way to go…