Robata refers to the Japanese cooking method where food is cooked over a charcoal grill. It is said that the first people who used the technique were ancient fishermen in northern Japan who brought hot coals in boxes with them so that they good cook on their boats. A newcomer to the thriving Soho dining scene, Robata by Head Chef Charles Lee allows Londoners to experience the unique taste that the robata grill brings to an array of fresh meats, seafood, and vegetables.
We visited on a nice sunny day and opted for a Sake Mojito on arrival. The cocktail was made with a refreshing blend of Sawanotsuru sake (a brewery from Japan’s Kobe region), jasmine syrup, lime juice, and mint leaves. The menu is divided into Raws & Sushi, Small Plates, Robata Skewers, Bao Buns, Large Plates, and Bowls.
Vegetarians will be happy to know that Robata has a good selection of meatless plates, such as the Crisps & Dips with vegetable crackers and a creamy dip made with crushed avocado, shallot, tomato, and pepper soy. Other vegetarian options are the miso aubergine with pickled shimiji mushrooms and Robata red chilli, and the broccoli steak, to name a few. Moving onto the next parts of the menu, we had the salmon roll with asparagus, avocado, crispy shallots, and yuzu mayo, which was fresh and had great textural contrasts. From the robata grill we went for the sweet and spicy beef skewers and the signature dish, the wood-flamed Iberico pork pluma with black pepper and sweet pickled nashi pear. The meats were smoky, tasty, and the seasoning was on-point.
Robata Soho would make a great group dining location as there is definitely something for everyone on the menu and the food comes out quickly. Aside from the cocktail and wine menu, there is a sprawling selection of sake, Japanese whisky, and other hard liquor. Robata also offers a pre-theatre and bottomless brunch menu.
Address: 56 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4UE
Phone: 020 7287 5766