The tuna (£7.50) and salmon (£6.80) sashimi came in at five pieces each and for the price you pay that’s quite a good deal. However, the fish was just average and I found the tuna a bit too cold for my liking, leaving a not so nice after-taste.
The chicken karaage (£5.95) came aplenty. Balls of deep fried breaded chicken served with a “spicy ketchup” (not) and I was rather surprised at how big they are. They were quite pleasant – seasoned nicely and juicy to the bite with a good crunchy coating. I actually prefer this than Shoryu’s karaage. A good start.
There was a lot of the bulgogi beef fillet too and for £8.50 that’s quite a bargain. I liked the spicy sauce as it had a proper kick but would have preferred the beef to be a little more on the pink side. At least it wasn’t overcooked, I guess.
Some grilled asparagus (£3.95) had to be ordered for our five-a-day quota. The veg was cooked nicely but I wish they didn’t drizzle so much sauce. It would’ve gone better without it, to be honest.
The miso black cod (£19.50) was… average. Nothing wrong with how the fish was cooked but I found the sauce a bit too sweet. Roka’s black cod still holds supreme.
Overall, I thought Oka was just okay, if not subpar. Save for the karaage, nothing much stood out for me from the dishes we selected. Fair enough, perhaps these dishes aren’t enough to judge the place on (maybe the sushi rolls fare better?) but frankly I was quite disappointed. Service was okay if not a bit abrupt but what really put me off were the flies floating about by this lamp/light by the bar. I was sat under it, and my peer only pointed this out after dining. #shudder.
There are places in London that have better Japanese food but I’m not going to complain about how cheap our bill came down to considering the portions were relatively generous. However, it made me realise that Japanese cuisine is so simple yet so sophisticated and it takes time and finesse to get it right. You may have to pay high end prices to get premium fare but hey – quality trumps quantity all the time.
1/F Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London, W1B