Japanese Brasserie ROKI Le Izakaya held a soft opening this past weekend. The menu features some really great stuff.
We tried pretty much everything that you see on the menu above, except for the veggie ramen. It sounds pretty good, though, and I’d like to go back and get it soon.
Canape are small bites of proteins set atop a bed of fried sticky rice. Each one is like an amuse, or hors. I tried three: uni (sea urchin), kani (crab) and ahi poke (dressed tuna). All were excellent, especially when eaten with the shiso leaf, but my favorite was the uni.
The quinoa salad with crab meat was the only menu item that seemed a bit out of place. It had a cumin spice to it, and it felt more middle eastern than Japanese. It was still very good, however.
Next up was the amberjack carpaccio. This was so clean and flavorful. t was perfectly dressed. I could eat this all night!
The duck chasiu was intense! And when the waiter came over with shaved foie gras on top, I knew I was in heaven.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…
Shrimp gyoza were next. These were tasty and perfectly cooked.
A big crowd pleaser, though, was the pork buns item.
They were decadent and so tender. I mean look at that meat!
The star of the night, for me, was the ramen. I typically don’t get down on shoyu broths. I prefer a tonkotsu (which they will have on their full menu – this was just a soft open with a limited menu selection). But this shoyu broth was deep and rich! I loved it.
The toppings were also really fun. Fried lotus root, bamboo shoots, arugula, fresh pepper, fried crispy baby shrimp and char siu pork. Oh and of course, that perfect egg…
I can use a bowl right now, actually, as I sit here writing this review.
The roasted white sesame seed ice cream was awesome! It was just right for dessert – not too sweet at all. It was coated with a nice crisp, and then topped with a sesame and honey cracker. And drizzle that thick sauce on top to bring it home!!!
I will definitely be back here soon. This was a fantastic meal!
ROKI LE IZAKAYA
12 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010