Everyone loves a bargain, and the four of us were lucky enough to grab the last few vouchers from the TimeOut website just before they sold out.
Located just a few minutes walk from Covent Garden, and just round the corner from The Strand, ROKA Aldwych was the fourth ROKA branch that opened in November 2014.
The design of the interior is modern and contemporary, with a central open-grill kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work (and the occasional dramatic burst of flames)
The Roka Aldwych Han Setto Sunday Brunch (available from noon until 8pm) comprised of a welcome bellini, 10 sharing starters, a main, a sharing dessert platter, and of course the two words that bring music to my ears – UNLIMITED WINE. Or in our case, prosecco, because we all love a good glass of bubbly…
And even more so when it involves unlimited top-ups (it does however come to an end just before dessert is served…so it’s best to make the most of it during your meal *hint*).
We hung around by the bar until all of us had arrived, before we were seated at our table where the waiter kindly explained the menu to us.
The starters soon started to arrive in the order that they were prepared. The first four were some light vegetarian starters: edamame salad with ginger and soy dressing, selection of vegetable pickles, baby spinach leaves with sesame dressing, and tomato salad with shiso and hijiki dressing. I love edamame as it’s so moreish and I find it so easy to lose count of how many I have had (!). According to May, the edamame pods are eaten whole in some Asian communities, which contain fibre and beneficial soyabean oils – we did try to chew on some empty pods, but it would probably need to be steamed a bit more in order to do so…
|Otsukemono no moriawase|
|Horenso no goma ae salada|
|Tomato no salada|
We got rather excited when the sashimi platter was brought to the table – we all clearly love sashimi and decided to indulge a bit more by ordering two more portions after…
Next up was the potato salad with bacon and egg that we weren’t quite fans of, followed by the more favourable beef, ginger and sesame dumplings.
There were two different types of maki rolls: raw salmon, avocado and wasabi maki, and crispy prawn and avocado.
The last starter dish was a selection of lightly battered, crispy tempura prawns, beans and sweet potato slices.
|Jagaimo to tamago salada|
|Gyuniku to goma no gyoza|
|Sake to avocado maki + Ebi furai to avocado maki|
|Tempura no moriawase|
After a satisfying array of starters, we were ready for our mains: we ordered the glazed baby back ribs, sea bream fillet teriyaki with sansho salt, and double portions of the beef sirloin with chilli and spring onion. We once again shared all the different mains amongst ourselves – because sharing is caring. The baby back ribs was really tender with a delicious sweet marinade – best eaten with fingers, obviously. The sea bream, although it looks slightly burnt in the photo, had a pleasant texture and nice flavours from the teriyaki. We requested for one medium rare and one rare for the beef sirloin dishes – I generally have mine medium rare, but I actually favoured the rare one more this time as it wasn’t too bloody as I thought it would be, and had a much softer texture.
And finally it was time for the much anticipated ROKA dessert platter, and what a scrumptious sight it was indeed. Indulgent mouthfuls of chocolate truffles; peanut, vanilla and chocolate sundae wih sesame poki sticks; cotton soft cheesecake with cream cheese ice cream and robata grilled pear (the pear unfortunately slightly overburnt with an unpleasant bitter taste…), a selection of seasonal and exotic fruit, and more little balls of sorbet and matcha ice cream. Our favourite was undoubtedly the smiling happy Buddha, that we left til the end…before we slolwy devoured him in a couple of mouthfuls each – pure bliss.
This is definitely one of the better dessert platters that I have had so far – an impressive presentation with a good selection.
|The lovely May|
This was actually the first time meeting May, Ellie and Em in person after months of ‘following’ each other on social media. But with technology and mutiple social media platforms these days, you sort of ‘know’ someone even before you’ve even met them in real life – and if there’s one thing that brings people together, it’s food. And plenty of other common interests as well, of course.
A beautiful venue, with great atmosphere, food and company – the perfect way to spend a Sunday.
Looking forward to seeing you all again.
The Cheekster, signing out x