Hands up, who has the January blues? Be honest, we’re all friends here. I am staring out over a grey, rainy London (I guess the weather is miserable too), having just taken my Christmas tree down, eating fruit for breakfast because my holiday diet was, shall we say, not exactly saintly, and I feel a cold coming on. Humph. Anyone who has any tips for cheering up (without spending money, eating anything, or taking in large quantities of alcohol) do let me know!
Back before Christmas, in that dizzying period where money seems to lose all meaning and ‘diet’ is a dirty word, a friend and I decided to go for lunch at Roka. The sister restaurant to Zuma, Roka specialises in Japanese cuisine, which – if I’m honest – isn’t something I’ve tried too often.
The restaurant itself is beautiful, with a view over Canary Wharf ice rink and an opulent, luxurious feel. We settled down and ordered our wine. Which was lovely. So far, so good.
First up – yellowtail sashimi. You really can’t fault the presentation, can you? This looked beautiful, and tasted…okay. It was nice, I just wasn’t overwhelmed. It was a little slimy for me, I guess. I’m sure that’s how it’s meant to taste – but I wasn’t loving it!
Our second course was a selection of sushi rolls. And I mean - just look how beautiful they are to look at...
Unfortunately, the taste just didn't live up to the presentation, for me. My favourites were the crab – until my friend pointed out that they contained entire crab claws. I’m not normally squeamish, but something about this just made me feel a little sick! Again, the selection was okay, but I just didn’t find it very exciting.
I realised halfway through writing this that the problem is, I’m too immature to review a sushi restaurant! I can’t use chopsticks, I dropped bits of food everywhere, and my overwhelming thought was ‘is this it?!’ I had this image of myself as a Londoner type sophisticate, nibbling on raw fish and judging it like a true connoisseur – but in reality, all I could think was ‘err, I want some meat!’
Luckily, Roka were able to provide me with this. I present… lamb chops. With asparagus stems as a side.
Oh, that lamb. It was so good, I could have eaten it forever. Soft, flavourful, just a little bit spicy…and the asparagus was the perfect accompaniment.
In the end, I left satisfied, but I’m not sure that going to a sushi restaurant and only really enjoying the meat course is the point! In general, I think Roka does incredible sushi for those who like sushi - it's just not for me. I guess I’ll just have to wait till I grow up a little bit more!