Roketsu | Japanese fine dining in Marylebone
Everything about the experience at Roketsu feels like the team behind it are striving for perfection.
Not merely goodness, or greatness – they seem to be earnestly aiming at point at which they cannot improve. And that ambition alone creates a fairly unforgettable dinner. And yes, it will be dinner you’re having: Roketsu serves up a 10-course kaiseki, which is the Japanese equivalent of a Western tasting menu, for just ten diners at a time.
Walking in the understated black door on a quiet Marylebone street, the first thing you’ll likely notice will be the very Japanese feel of the interior, like it’s been plucked out of a traditional village and delicately placed in central London. And in a way, it has. The materials making up the bespoke interior (including 400 year old Japanese cypress, chestnut, and camella) were all sized, cut, and prepared in Kyoto by a venerated architect, then shipped to the UK to be assembled. The walls were then painted in a traditional technique that uses uneven lines to create a sense of informal relaxation. And the floor tiles? They’re all unique, created by by a legendary Kyoto-based ceramicist.
Like we said, they’re aiming for perfection.
And naturally, the kitchen team is just as obsessive. Head chef Daisuke Hayashi trained at the three Michelin Star Kikunoi ryotei restaurant from the age of 18, as apprentice to the head chef there. Like all kaiseki menus, his changes regularly (as does the crockery it’s served on), but one thing you will be able to expect is plenty of dashi, a kombu seaweed & bonito flake stock that’s absolutely central to this style of Japanese food. And yes, if you were wondering whether their kombu supplier was a specialist artisan from the islands off Hokkaido who matured it in straw for two years minimum, then you were correct.
As for the menu itself? Well, it changes regularly depending on what month you go. But it’ll be sensationally good, and above all, it’ll likely have elements that astonish you with their creativity & skilful execution. You might get a fig draped in fig mustard & bonito flakes; a richly marbled cut of toro tuna sitting in a ‘kimi-joyu’ egg yolk sauce and covered in earthy truffle slices (a dish so extraordinarily rich you’re at risk of fainting); a freshly grilled lobster served with lobster soup (naturally made from the shells); a hearty bowl of Cornish octopus & young ginger rice mixed in front of you (and so huge you will almost certainly not be able to finish it); and some bright green, nutty & creamy edamame soup. And there’ll be plenty more besides.
Then there are the wine & sake pairings that come with it all, which are selected with commensurately next-level care.
Frankly, if this place doesn’t impress you, nothing will.
NOTE: Roketsu is open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.
Roketsu | 12 New Quebec St, W1H 7RW
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