Roka Aldwych, Covent Garden

A lunch to try out the new Roka on Aldwych. The original Roka restaurant, based on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, has been a success since it opened, about ten years ago. Since then, the company has opened a branch in Canary Wharf, a branch in Mayfair, and most recently, a branch in Covent Garden.

The restaurant itself is quite nice, with high ceilings (different to the original) and lots of grey stone, which gives it a modern but sterile feeling.

We decided to try a number of different dishes, so we shared… first off, the soft-shelled crab roll. It was a good one, with big chunks of crab in the roll. It was served still warm, which was nice.

 

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Then, we had some scallop sashimi and the yellow-tail tartare, which was served with rice crunchies. Both were ok and certainly, but neither had much flavour… a bit disappointing.

 

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We had come to lunch with a 25% off voucher that also came with a free cocktail – I got a mezcal-based cocktail that was really good and smoky…

 

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Then, the beef, sesame and ginger dumplings. These were quite plump and crammed with beef, making them pretty good… nice with some pickled cucumber and chili.

 

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And then, the aubergine. Such a simple dish, these aubergine skewers were slowly grilled for what tasted like hours.. they were so tender. Topped with a slightly spicy powder, they were also perfectly seasoned. This may have been the best dish of the bunch.

 

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And finally, to end, the beef and shishito pepper skewers. These were also delicious. The beef had been marinated in a sauce and was very tender slices (not cubes) of meat. So. Good. The aubergine was better, but this was a top second.

 

IMG_1820So, the verdict? Ok. I might come back, but stick to the robata and hot dishes… these were quite good, while the raw fish itself didn’t have much flavour.

 

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