roka aldwych

This is a place that's been on my wishlist for quite a while now, so I'm excited to have finally tried it! The restaurant in question is Roka - the Aldwych branch, to be exact. 

I kept putting off my first visit, because this kind of Japanese/fusion cuisine usually comes with a high price tag, and often they aren't justified, which makes me afraid to splash that kind of cash. But when I found out about their Han Setto brunch menu on Sundays (only at the Aldwych branch, and it's not really a brunch at all - available all day), it sounded like a good way to try it - and (very) belatedly celebrating my sister's birthday with her and E seemed like the perfect excuse.

Now, at the regular price of £55, it's already a pretty generous deal - including a welcome cocktail, 10 small dishes, 1 main course, a dessert platter and unlimited wine or prosecco throughout your meal. We actually struck gold and just a few days before we dined there, Timeout was offering £30 vouchers for the same menu - it was a ridiculous bargain, and we felt incredibly lucky! 

So off we went, hungry and excited, and we had quite a feast on our hands. Starting with blackberry bellinis, pickles and edamame, the small plates arrived in a continuous stream of deliciousness.

The starters we had:
 - Edamame salad with ginger and soy dressing
- Selection of vegetable pickles
- Baby spinach leaves, sesame dressing
- Tomato salad with shiso and hijiki dressing
- Chef's sashimi selection
- Raw salmon, avocado and wasabi tobiko maki
- Crispy prawn and avocado maki
- Potato salad with bacon and egg
- Beef, ginger and sesame dumplings
- Assorted vegetable and prawn gyoza

I told you - a true feast! I loved pretty much everything - the tempura was excellently fried, and the salads were so fresh and full of flavour. I loved the gyoza, too! No, I couldn't pick a favourite. 

For the main courses, we could choose a dish out of a varied selection of 8 dishes. We all went for meat - E got the ribs, and my sister and I shared the ribs and beef:

Glazed baby back ribs with cashew nuts
- Beef sirloin, chilli and spring onion

The portions were very generous!

I think the ribs were slightly better than the beef, but I definitely enjoyed both - we asked for the beef rare and it was verging on medium rare, but otherwise it was beautifully delicious and the ribs were addictive! By this point (and it was all being washed down with free-flowing wine, of course), I was getting pretty full and knew I had to save room for dessert...

Behold, the dessert platter. Adorned with exotic fruits, truffles, biscuit sticks, ice cream, sorbet, indistinguishable but tasty dishes, it was quite the sight. We made a good dent in it, which was impressive considering how much we'd already eaten! 

Of course, E had to go the extra mile - he had been wanting to try this signature dessert from Roka for some time, and couldn't resist the opportunity. 

Their matcha chocolate fondant is a beauty - I had a couple of bits and it's worth the hype. Perhaps I can persuade E to try and make this at home... 

All in all, we had a fantastic dinner at Roka and I wouldn't hesitate to go for this all day brunch deal again - it's definitely good value. I would love to visit the Charlotte St. branch, too, so Roka hasn't disappeared off of my wishlist just yet!

Roka Aldwych
71 Aldwych
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Roka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato