Let's meet at - Roka

Reviewed by Martin Loat, managing director, Propeller Group.

Since it opened in 2004, Roka has become one of the 'must-do' eateries serving the advertising and media folk that hang out around Charlotte Street, W1.

Roka is essential for keeping in touch with contacts and conspiring to 'bump into' new ones, while being seen doing it.

Oh and there's the food. Executive chef Nic Watt has woven a wonderful tapestry of contemporary Japanese robatayaki cuisine, with the main dining area dominated by the Robata grill. Here you can see the preparation of delicacies such as black cod marinated in yuzo miso and quail marinated in plum wine.

The signature dish appears to be the huge and beautifully presented Madagascan prawn. The first time I ordered it, I didn't know whether to eat it or ask Sir David Attenborough to make a documentary about it.

The service at Roka matches the decor for cool elegance: the tone being set by maitre d' Nicole Gilmore. The ambience is special too. On warm days the doors are flung open so the tables spill onto the pavement, allowing the honour of securing a table to be displayed to passers by.

The intimate and softer interior in the basement provides a subtle alternative to the bustle of the street-level room.

Where: 37 Charlotte St, London W1T 1RR
Contact: 0207 580 6464
How much: £40 per head

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