For the past month, in celebration of the Japanese season of Sakura, the Shochu Lounge beneath ROKA on Charlotte Street has been transformed into a gorgeous and immersive oasis of cherry blossom. We ventured down to experience the breathtaking display for ourselves and were simply blown away. (The pictures don’t do it justice). The atmosphere in the Shochu Lounge is vibrant, yet intimate and, with the beautiful display of flowers, it makes the perfect spot for a date. Not only does ROKA look like you’ve been transported to Japanese heaven – the meticulously thought out food and cocktail combinations transport your tastebuds there too.
If you’re a lover of Japanese food and drinks, ROKA’s menu is exquisite. Alongside the installation this month, they’re serving up a a selection of special Suntory whisky cocktails. Our favourite – the Match A Rack – is created with Hibiki whisky, matcha-infused arrack, fino sherry, unami and mango. Executive Chef, Hamish Brown, has carefully paired these sweet, yet balanced flavours with a Hokkaid snow crab dish, served on tapioca crisp and nori (both pictured above). We also couldn’t get enough of ROKA’s Sashimi Platter. If you’re a big fan of fish, then you’ll find the salmon tartar incredibly moreish.
If you prefer your seafood cooked, then we’d recommend the Chilean Sea Bass. It’s meatier than most types of sea bass, due to the slightly colder temperature of the water. Served with padron peppers and a sweet and tangy sauce, it was the most succulent bass we’ve ever smacked our lips around. The evening ended exactly how dreams do – with ROKA’s dessert platter; a beautifully displayed array of exotic fruits, ice creams, sorbets and (the best part) a crunchy, sweet banana tempura. Cue food coma.
Due to the fantastic response the cherry blossom installation received last month, ROKA have decided to extend the display until the end of May! We recommend you get yourself down to Charlotte Street to catch a glimpse (and have a taste) of the Japanese sakura season. To have a look at their menu and book a table, check out ROKA’s website here.