Brunch at Roka Akor
I was lucky enough to be invited to bring a friend to Sunday brunch at Roka Akor.
Brunch at the Japanese restaurant has “traditional” brunch elements – pancakes, eggs, etc. – but with a Japanese spin.
Roka Akor’s brunch is an all-you-can-eat buffet. Well, three buffets; sushi, robata grill, and dessert. The selections will vary slightly from week to week. When we went, the sushi buffet had several kinds of sushi rolls and many varieties of sashimi as well as edamame, artfully displayed tofu, an egg and avocado salad, tea smoked eggs, seared tuna, raw oysters, and green salad. The buffet was restocked often and some items were kept on ice so everything was fresh and delicious.
The robata grill buffet is more like a robata grill bar since the robata grill items are made to order. Again, the selections will vary slightly based on seasonality and quality. Our choices were broccolini and corn, pork ribs, salmon, whole duck leg, teriyaki chicken, and beef brisket. My dining companion went the healthy route with veggies and salmon. I was feeling more decadent so I went for the ribs and duck.
The dessert bar had pancakes with sweet red bean paste sandwiched inside, ginger crème brûlée, vanilla panna cotta with blood orange sauce, brownies, and fruit salad. The pancakes could be eaten with butter and maple syrup, but we chose to top ours with the delicious white espresso whipped cream.
If, for some reason, all the food available for the flat fee ($39) isn’t enough, Roka Akor also offers a la carte items such as an eggs Benedict twist – prime fillet with Hollandaise sauce and poached egg – king crab nigiri with truffle butter, and Wagyu avocado burger with sweet potato skewers.
Since brunch wouldn’t be brunch without a little booze, Roka Akor offers Bloody Marys infused with sun dried tomato shochu, yuzu mimosas, and barrel sake. My dining companion had coffee that he declared was “pretty typical restaurant coffee” that considering he had several cups must mean it was decent.
Even though we served ourselves, the service was not nonexistent. It was one of the waiters who made the great suggestion to top the pancakes with the whipped cream. We were talked through the buffet items and our water glasses were never empty.
Overall, the brunch was quite good, but I would ask that the raggae- and Jack Johnson-heavy soundtrack be varied a lot more. It’s offered on Sundays from 11:30am to 2pm for anyone wanting a Japanese take on brunch.