Tasked with finding a spot for lunch with friends, I google-searched “Business lunch Dubai” and ended up going through a whole list of restaurants here. A few phone calls to various venues – some were fully booked for two weeks (that restaurant with the famous swing) – I ended up with Roka as it was a) japanese, which would suit all of us, b) appeared to be reasonably priced at 115AED for their business lunch deal and c) meant to be really good, it being Zuma’s sister restaurant.
I’ll admit – I had never heard of them until then. Is this the part where I am completely discredited as a food blogger? Haha, look I never said I was one – I just love to write. And eat. And try out new things 😉
So, how was the lunch? Here’s my review –
What do you get, and how was it?
With the four starters – loved them all, with the least favourite being the iceberg lettuce – we all felt it was a bit too salty for our taste.
Beef dumplings (2 pieces each) and crispy prawn sushi (3 pieces each) were both delicious. The winner for me would be the warm mushroom dish, tossed with padron peppers and green beans – it was beautifully put together with spicy sesame miso. Definitely a kickstart to the appetite.
Next came our mains, where you choose one dish from a selection. We decided to carry on the asian style of sharing – so was happy to see that they had 3 pieces of lamb cutlets on the dish.
The beef fillet itself was flavoursome, and whilst tender and juicy, we felt that the sauce didn’t quite go with it. Lamb cutlets were marinated with korean spices – again, another one that didn’t really work for us. Note that all 3 of us at the table are of east-asian origins so you would have expected that our taste buds were in tune with what was being served. Or maybe we just do not have such a refined palate? The third dish was salmon – you can never go wrong with a good teriyaki salmon fillet – and this they executed very well.
The highlights for us was definitely the desserts. Note that this is extra to the business set lunch – very well-priced at 29 AED for each dessert. We took on the staff’s recommendation and loved them all – the robata smoked coconut parfait, the crunchy banana ice cream puffs, and the japanese cheesecake ( a fine-dining version of my usual Yakitate purchase ).
Though we were the first ones there at 12pm today, Roka was full very soon after with what looked like those wanting to have a nice long lunch on a Thursday afternoon. Service was generally good despite it being busy, and would have been perfect had the team not place the bill at our table before we asked for it. Is that the norm these days? Quick in, quick out?
For the business lunch – I felt that they could have upped their portions a little. I was not exactly stuffed at the end of the meal, as it meant we all wanted to order desserts after. Including a bottle of sparkling water (28 AED), lunch ended up at 160 AED per person, which I felt was relatively steep but hey – we’re talking about lunch at an award-winning Japanese robatayaki, yea? 😉 It was a really lovely lunch regardless – the company and the desserts made up for it 😉
I have yet to try out other east-asian business lunches – maybe when I do get a booking at that restaurant with the swing – I’ll be able to compare better? Have you been to Roka? What should we order next time?
Tip – Pop over to the pool at ME Dubai by Melia after lunch if you’re with Privilee – it’s a nice way to spend the rest of the afternoon 😉
- The Opus, Business Bay Dubai
- Deal : 4 starters to share, 1 main and rice for AED 115
Note : Non-sponsored. We paid for our lunch at Roka.