There’s only one reason to get out of bed on a weekend morning and that is for brunch. This is where New Yorkers have the edge, they know how to do brunch right. Every episode of SATC features the girls at brunch at least once and it has evolved into something of a religion for our friends over the ditch.
London remains woefully behind in these stakes but Roka is attempting to redress that balance (Currently only at the Canary Wharf branch) and it is a great way to kick off the weekend, celebrating hubby’s birthday with a champagne bang
There are three menu options, priced at 42, 52 and 66 and the difference really lies in the mains. You start off with a welcome Bellini and there are unlimited Bloody Mary’s and wines during the meal which includes a buffet of hot & cold appetizers, standard to everyone followed by a main of your choice. The table is yours for 2 hours but it’s subtly done, they don’t remind you of it before you even sit down and when there’s unlimited booze, well you can kinda see their point.
Buffet options include a range of soups, noodles, sushi options of all shapes & sizes, edamame, hot chicken & pork bits and my absolute favourite of all, Salmon & Tuna tataki. The hot food didn’t really wow me, I felt it was too battery and not hot enough so I unfortunately wasted a bit of space on that, but the salads, sushi and sashimi were fresh and light and perfect entree material. And well, I got through platefuls of the Tataki, which was light and zingy and fresh and coupled with the wonderful wine and spicy Bloody Mary’s, this alone would have left two very satisfied customers.
When you’re ready to move courses, you simply let staff know and in comes your main, hot off the plates. Since it’s Husband’s birthday, I let him go for the one we both have our eye on – the lamb with Korean spices. I’m torn between the seabass and prawns but the waitress talks me into the seabass and I’m glad she did. It’s not terribly stunning on presentation but the fish is firm, soft and with the tiniest hint of lemon squeeze, is divine. But the lamb does have the edge here, it is mouth watering. Not entirely where the Korean element of spices comes into it, but when it tastes this good, who really cares?
By this stage, we’re pretty stuffed but dessert is yet to come – and I’m trying to save room but I probably shouldn’t have tried so hard. It’s always a nice touch when they acknowledge a special occasion with candles and a message but dessert simply didn’t match up to that that came before!
Husband is already planning a repeat visit – so I’ll let you know what our experience is like next time. But I won’t be saving too much room for dessert.
Come on London, we need more brunch places like this one!