Fire up your senses at Roka, a trendy restaurant in Hong Kong serving delicious modern Japanese cuisine.
This is not your typical Japanese restaurant: I have eaten at Roka several times and have loved it each time ! I must say it is one of the best restaurants I have visited (in Hong Kong) and believe me I have visited many !
Enormously successful in London, Roka is now open at Pacific Place Mall. This follows hot on the heels of Roka group’s highly publicized launch in The Venetian Macau Resort Hotel in Macau last year.
According to the restaurant’s press release, the word “ro” in Roka means hearth, or gathering place, and “ka” stands for a burning fire that projects a welcoming and energetic atmosphere : ) and that’s what most of the menu focuses on.
The interior is styled by Japanese designer Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Studio Glitt to balance the four elements of earth, fire, water and air.
The restaurant uses warm shades of orange and gold, as well as plenty of organic materials like wooden floors and a wall of charcoal to create a stylish, vibrant yet comfortable environment.
The best seats by far are at the wooden counter (a huge slab of solid wood) around the huge Japanese robata grill in the centre of the restaurant, where you can observe the chefs busily preparing and grilling the food.
The food: The principle cuisine of ROKA Hong Kong is from the Robata grill. Noriyoshi describes the Robata as “a combination of delicate cooking and a respect for ingredients.”
The huge menu ensures there’s something for everyone, including the signature ROKA items such as the lamb cutlets with hot pepper spices and the black cod grilled with sweet miso paste.
The grilled lobster was incredibly fresh, as was the spinach salad with sesame sauce, and scallop dumpling was amazing, but best of all were the various maki roll, particularly the softshell crab, and the salmon skin temaki (handroll).
There are also dishes exclusive to ROKA Hong Kong, such as the prawn and black cod dumplings.
Desserts were a highlight – The must-try is the jasmine sundae with yuzu granite – a mishmash of textures including trifle, cream, sponge and ice.
The drinks: The wine menu is plentiful, with a cellar stocked with more than 500 bottles (and 25 wines served by the glass, but i haven’t tried them all…YET).
In addition to the extensive wine, sake, shochu and liquor list, there is also a selection of non-alcoholic cleansers that feel particularly healthy after all that grilled meat.
The best ones are the Sutoro—a blend of pear, banana, crushed star anise, orange and apple juice, and and the Yuko-Suko—a blend of yuko, aloe vera, shiso, mint, lemon and soda.
A light lunch or light dinner for one without wine costs about US$30.00 ($50 for a dinner), not exactly diamonds, but it could cost far more if you splurge out on the expensive dishes and sake! You have been warned… ^_^
Why I will come back: it had the BEST japanese food on earth ! (Roka is also the perfect place to sample tasty treats not on the menu).
The staff here do a wonderful job, showing that first-class service does actually exist in Hong Kong.
ROKA Hong Kong is open daily from 11.30am – 10.30pm.
Set Lunch : $200-300 (US$25-37) – Dinner $350-500 (US$43-52) – Wines from $300 (US$38)
Roka, Pacific Place, Level LG1, Shop 002, 88 Queensway, Central, Hong Kong.
Phone: +852-3960 5988 or click on rokarestaurant.com.