Robata Japanese cuisine rocks at Roka Akor

Thu. July 8, 2021 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Upon walking inside the Roka Akor restaurant in Chicago, 456 N. Clark Street, one will immediately notice the professional staff, the unique spirits at the bar and the 12-foot open robata grill in the modern dining room. 

After a welcome glass of sparkling prosecco and a Roka old fashioned Japanese whisky drink, I told the server to bring me whatever she chooses that represents the establishment. This took me and my guest on a journey that followed much of their tasting menu with lots of bonus items along the way. 


The small bite Tataki flight held a special treat with the prime beef Tataki combined with fresh shaved truffle and a pickled, Chinese radish. The Spanish squid was perfectly cooked and the grilled diver sea scallops just melted in my mouth. I could have eaten the lobster dumplings all night, but it was time to move on to the robata grilled octopus in a meyer lemon dressing. Our experienced server suggested dipping it in the squid ink aioli and it truly gave the dish a distinct flavor. 

The sashimi selections and flame seared sake nigrini rolled out quickly followed by the black cod wrapped in a massive leaf. The presentation overall was very impressive and the staff was quick on removing mess and plates throughout the evening. 

The wagyu sirloin arrived next accompanied with bone marrow in a truffle aioli. The Brussels sprouts served with the steak were light, flaky and delicious.

For the grand finish, we dove in to a fresh dessert platter that mixed strawberries, melons and oranges with ice cream. Once again, the tantalizing look was astounding and added to the experience. 

We were taken on a journey at the dinner table that night, which is already demanding a return trip!

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