Roka - Robata grill the flaming heart of this enticing eatery
Pacific Place, Level LG1, Shop 002, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 3960 5988
Roka Hong Kong, the fourth after London, Macau and Scottsdale in the US, is the more affordable younger sister of Zuma. Its focal point is the robata grill along one side of the expansive space, which is decorated in amber and earthy tones. Sitting at the chef's table - a few seats lined up at the bar at one end of the kitchen - gives good views of the chefs at work and allows you to sample dishes not listed on the menu, including some being developed specially for Hong Kong diners. Some of the fare is suited more to adventurous diners, as it either reworks traditional items or incorporates novel elements. The spinach salad with sesame dressing, a play on the traditional Japanese dish of cooked spinach, had raw greens which retained the strong, fresh flavour of the spinach and gave texture to the dish. The prawn and black cod dumplings were soft and subtly flavoured. The black cod with miso paste, a signature dish from London, was as soft as butter and delectably sweet, while the chicken strips with a deliciously tart plum paste were cooked to perfection. The aubergine comes with ginger instead of the usual miso paste, and was melt-in-the-mouth delicious. The strawberry and jasmine sundae with yuzu granite makes an ideal refresher on a hot day and there is a range of chilled juice blends, fruity cocktails, sake, shochu and premium wines to quench the thirst. HK$200 to HK$300 for lunch and HK$300 to HK$500 for dinner.