I’m loving how there are gradually more halal Japanese options in London! Here is one of the newer addition in Soho, named Robata, which also translates as Japanese grilled charcoal cooking.
Walking into the restaurant, it’s actually smaller than I expected. There’s an area where there’re curtains to offer a bit of privacy, but in overall it’s still a rather compact space.
It’s fairly empty when we arrived at 6 pm. But roughly an hour later, it was full-house plus people queuing outside. Therefore, I’d definitely recommend making a booking before you visit.
Here is what we ordered at Robata Soho:
Beef Tataki (£10)
We started with some Beef Tataki, i.e thin raw beef slices that are marinated in yuzu pepper soy and with a nice quick sear on the outside. It’s topped with garlic chips, truffle aioli & spring onions.
The beef tataki was beautifully tender to savour and well-marinated. I love that slight tangy touch and acidity coming from the yuzu, as well as the slight crunch added from the garlic chips. The flavours just went very well with one another in this dish.
Soft Shell Crab Roll (£11)
Next, we got the Soft Shell Crab Sushi Roll, which is stuffed with gochujang mayo, cucumber, chives and tobiko.
The sushi roll was generally good, though I find the flavours just a tad bit underwhelming than I originally anticipated. I was hoping to find a more savoury touch from the soft shell crab as it didn’t seem to stand out as much as it should.
On a side note, I think my meal at Hot Stone has kind of ruined me now as no other sushi seem to be able to beat that sort of quality!
J.Fried Karaage (£8.5)
The Chicken Karaage was absolutely delightful. It’s super crispy on the outside and well-seasoned with a robust touch of flavours. The inside was pretty succulent and juicy too. In addition, they came at decent sizes as well, which is always a good thing.
Hay Flamed Beef Fillet (£25)
200g beef fillet beautifully smoked and cooked over hay – served to the table over a hot robata grill. The beef was very flavoursome, with a nice touch of smokiness in there. It’s certainly a fun experience and there’s definitely a wow factor when the whole robata grill was served to the table. The grill must be hotter than I expected as the meat was cooking really quick!
Along with the meat came three different sauces – yakiniku, chimichurri, and chilli oil. I thought it’s interesting to make note that the chimichurri sauce was definitely not the chimichurri I was expecting, but rather like a Cantonese garlic spring onion sauce. Not a bad thing at all, in my opinion, just a funny interesting observation.
Kimchi Rice (£8)
Now this one isn’t exactly Japanese and definitely more Korean, but who cares! This kimchi rice was served with nori, spring onion, and topped with a fried egg.
It’s definitely homemade kimchi because it’s got quite punchy flavours and definitely got that pungent touch that you don’t usually get from store-bought kimchi. This is certainly great if you’re a kimchi lover though it could get a little overwhelming for some. It’s a little spicier than I originally expected as well.
Robata has been an enjoyable dinner spot. It’s a fairly good restaurant pick if you happen to be around the area looking for something casual but still good quality food. My personal favourite had definitely been the robata Beef Fillet as the whole grill concept certainly adds a fun element to the whole dining experience.
The chicken & beef are halal at Robata Soho, except those on the skewers section of the menu.
Pork and alcohol are present at the restaurant.
Nearest station: Leicester Square
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