Eat This: Roka Mayfair’s New Breakfast MenuBy Alicia Grimshaw
Roka needs no introduction; known for their high-end Japanese classics and pan Asian delights, the restaurant group never fail to make our stomachs smile. Roka’s Canary Wharf and Aldwych branches already serve one of the finest sharing brunches we’ve ever encountered, and now the Mayfair outpost have decided to cater for the early risers with their new breakfast menu.
If a venue has good lighting, trendy interiors, (read: reclaimed and natural wood, raw steel), a hint of low lighting and delicious nibbles, we’re sold. Discover why Roka Mayfair needs to be top of the list for your next breakfast outing:
Roka Mayfair: The Lowdown
Roka Mayfair is stylishly cool and elegantly understated in equal measures. The restaurant is surprisingly unpretentious for the area; the kind of place you can turn up in your battered Dr Martens, like us, having been caught in the rain, and a grab a quick breakfast, or spend hours with a big group of friends, digging into Asian dishes over heady cocktails. A restaurant for all occasions, we say.
Roka Mayfair: The Menu
It’s not only the interiors that make you drool – the menu itself is a work of art; though beautifully presented and deliciously enticing, it needs an encyclopedia to navigate. The descriptions are their own challenge; yuzu features heavily, as do unusual ingredients, such as shiso, sabacha, and toban. Go with someone who won’t judge for your ignorance, or, like us, ask the staff for some guidance.
This is not your classic eggs Benny and porridge kind of brunch, but actually you don’t miss them. Instead, the menu features classic brunch dishes reinterpreted with a Roka twist. It was no surprise that Roka Mayfair decided to feature an avocado on toast number, but not as we know it. Ditching the sourdough in favour of squid ink toast, this is one avocado on toast you don’t want to miss. Squid ink is an acquired taste, but once it’s baked into bread it takes on more of a mellow flavour, which worked nicely with the tangy wasabi peas and smashed avocado.
The waiter insisted we try something new, and so we ordered the grilled hamachi ‘kama’ served with miso soup, rice and pickles. Grilled hamachi (known to us Brits as yellowtail collar) refers to the section behind the head and gills. The piece of fish was grilled; delicately fatty, sweet, tender, but especially juicy – the fish served with the miso soup (salty, and silky smooth), and rice was the perfect marriage of flavours.
The mushroom toban served with shiso brioche was an absolute triumph – the combination of nutty mushrooms, and the overwhelming, lingering smell of truffle was just perfect. Truffle runs the risk of stealing every dish, and in this case, it did, but happily. The dishes are at once so layered and complex, and yet so wonderfully simple.
We rounded off our visit with the pancake with caramelised pecans. The pecans added some much needed crunch to the dish, and the pancakes were gloriously light and fluffy. A real winner.
Roka Mayfair: The Verdict
Roka Mayfair is everything you want from a breakfast spot; excellent Bloody Marys, great coffee, a cool vibe and sexy AF food. Get down there as soon as you can, as the menu isn’t sticking around for long.