ROKA Aldwych

After dining at ROKA in Canary Wharf for my mum's 60th birthday, I couldn't wait to go again but to the Aldwych branch this time using Bookatable's website.

Excited to try out their 3 course set menu for £31pp, Ken and I arrived hungry to celebrate our belated anniversary - which I may have mentioned in the comments section :p

After being seated, we were given a menu with two different sets:
Hayameshi teishoku - £31per person  or  tokujo hayameshi teishoku for £41 per person.
Each are served wth a glass of bubbles or complimentary green tea. 

We opted for the first set menu and not long after, two glasses of prosecco were brought out. Our waitress and waiter assumed we'd prefer alcohol without asking us. As we aren't drinkers, we had to request to swap to green tea, which took 15 minutes to be brought out.

Soon, our starters and other dishes came flowing out of the kitchen before our tea had even arrived! The green beans with sesame dressing, which arrived on one plate, was delicious! Despite being served surprisingly ice cold, I could have eaten it all to myself. 

As I am unable to eat beef, we were able to swap the three beef, ginger and sesame dumplings for two black cod, crab and crayfish dumplings. It was presented elegantly with four edamame beans and a sweet but sharp vinegary sauce, that took the strong fishy taste away from the dumplings.

Next was the sashimi, which included salmon, tuna and seabass. All the pieces were thickly cut and melt-in-your-mouth soft. One of the nicest sashimi I've had.

A spicy mixed sashimi tempura with green beans and spring onion followed and this was by far the best dish on the menu! It had a great combination of textures, the soft rice with the crunchy, deep fried tempura coating and the ever so aldente green beans. Delicious!

In between dishes, we were topped up with green tea (in total twice) but it was very unclear that refills were inclusive. It would have been very hard to get the attention of a member of staff to ask for tea but luckily the tables around us had green tea so the waiter topped our cups up as he passed. 

For our mains we had a choice of baby chicken, sea bream fillet or beef sirloin, which all comes with rice. I chose the baby chicken with lemon, miso and garlic soy, which was packed full of flavours with every bite! It had a mild hint of chilli giving it a subtle warmth that accompanied the soy and lemon so well. 

The rice that came with it was decorated with black sesame seeds, toasted sesame seeds, seaweed and purple dust, which not only looked pretty but added extra textures to the soft, steamed rice.

Ken went for the beef sirloin, chilli and spring onion, cooked medium rare and said it was cooked very well. The dark sauce that came with it was sweet, sticky and great for dipping the thinly sliced beef in to.

Brimming with food, I couldn't leave without having the dessert I've been craving for 4 years - dark chocolate and green tea pudding with crunchy jivara, pear ice cream. I decided to swap the ice cream for strawberry sorbet. Ken went for the sobacha crème brûlée with hazelnuts, yamazaki whisky ice cream. 

When they arrived, we were both pleasantly surprised! The chefs had made it extra special by writing "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate on a wafer thin wooden sheet :) 

The dessert were amazing. The melty but crunchy chocolate layer on top with the oozy green tea inside the chocolate pudding. If you love chocolate and matcha - make sure you try it! The sorbet, which was served on the ice block surprisingly stayed in their ball shape whilst I took my time enjoying the pudding. I loved the presentation and all of it being served in a large wooden bowl, decorated with fresh tropical fruits. 

Overall, I still love the food at ROKA. However, the friendliness of each member of staff varied as well as the service, which fluctuated at times. As we came nearer to the end of our meal and less people were around, we weren't offered any more tea or any other drinks. I think it would be better to be given a pot of tea for the table, rather than to search for a waiter to request some or wait for a long time. Other than that, the food is not to be missed :)

ROKA Aldwych
71 Aldwych,



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