The latest addition to the Roka Restaurant brand has now been unveiled; Roka Aldwych was officially opened to the public on the 3rd November following a 4 month renovation project.
Roka Aldwych serves up an array of unique contemporary Japanese Robatayaki dishes in an innovative environment that differs greatly from the other three Roka restaurants in the city.
The planning process began late last year, when the ground floor unit which Roka Aldwych was due to be housed in, underwent an extensive change of use process by the building’s Landlord. This was a lengthy process which took at least eight months; the landlord converted the space from an office space to a restaurant facility after gaining planning permission. The space was gutted and all of the incoming services were installed and so by the time the Roka team got on site in June 2014 the necessary infrastructure was in place.
We caught up with Chris Wall, the Managing Director of CW Consulting, who acted as the Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager on the Roka Aldwych project, to find out more about the development. Chris commented:
“We have been involved with all the new Roka restaurants this year as well as working on the Oblix Restaurant in The Shard so we have a longstanding relationship with the client. This venue is very different to the other Roka restaurants in London as the client, Roka Restaurants, wanted to alter the look of the Roka brand, creating a subtle twist on the design compared to the other restaurants whilst still retaining the Japanese feel.”
Roka Aldwych is owned by Roka Restaurants which in turn are owned by parent company Azumi Limited. The 150 cover restaurant has been worked on by main contractors The French Group, Italian interior designer Claudio Silvestrin and CW Consulting. Claudio is a minimalist interior designer who loves natural products and so this has influenced the interior design of the newest Roka.
The front of house space comprises an array of timber floors and a mixture of raw timber and concrete wall panelling. The main restaurant also boasts a lot of stone work tops as well as a unique natural green stone finish on the venue’s Robata canopy area.
The venue boasts a very minimalist entrance space which has been clad in stone and features a unique Japanese water tub. Diners will then walk through a pair of sliding glass doors into the dimly lit reception area which is decorated with displays of specialist Japanese drinks Saki and Shochu.
The main lounge, bar and restaurant space contains five circular columns which have been clad in stone. The space also boasts an impressive open show kitchen which is surrounded by timber and stone seating offering diners a prime spot to watch their meals being prepared and cooked.
The venue is on one level and comprises high ceilings as well as specialist lighting design features. The lighting enhances the natural design features as well as creating a warm and soft feel to the space.
The onsite team handed the restaurant back to the client at the end of October before it was officially opened at the beginning of November.
During the project the team did encounter a few difficulties; this included construction challenges caused by the difficult nature of the design and the many interfaces of differing natural materials. Undertaking works in a building which was completely occupied was also a challenge for the on site team as there were a lot of restrictions on noise and vibration. A lot of out of hours working was required in order to fit in with the existing tenants.
Despite the challenges Chris said it was a great project to be a part of. He added:
“I am delighted to have been involved with this very high class and exclusive restaurant fit out and client. They are the leaders in this type of cuisine and are a worldwide recognised brand; the client is incredibly demanding as they have exceptionally high standards for their staff and operations.
“This site is not part of a chain so we are not rolling out the same design and ideas; as it is an individual restaurant the client has been involved in the whole process which has been great.”
Summit Design is the leading name and partner in conceiving and delivering perfect environments for dining and leisure. The company is an expert in the design, supply and installation of mechanical services, including the highly acclaimed ROBATA front of house wood burning grill.
Summit Design is a specialist in kitchen extract, fresh air ventilation and extract systems, air conditioning and heating. Founded in 1993, Summit Design established its name working on the “ultimate treat restaurants” and other “crowd magnets”, including Oblix at the Shard, The Ritz, Fischers and The Perfectionists’ Café.
With Roka Aldwych, Summit Design is the prominent partner for one of Rainer Becker’s eminent London restaurants, located moments from the Strand and minutes from the River Thames and Somerset House. After the recent completion of Roka Mayfair, Summit Design is again responsible for all Roka’s mechanical services installation, including all air conditioning and ventilation systems, plumbing and 100 meters of kitchen extract ductwork and electrostatic filters. Its ultraviolet filter breaks down the particulates in the extract air with the kitchen extract filtering and discharging over eight floors above the kitchen canopy.
Simon Laxton, Contract Manager at Summit Design explained:
“Roka Aldwych demonstrates the strong working relationship we have, partnering perfectly with Rainer Becker’s unique style of contemporary Japanese Robatayaki cuisine and urban design. We compliment and support the Roka interior design, including the front of house construction in wood joinery and natural stone, providing a perfect environment with its traditional Japanese feel without it being too sushi-esque!”
For more information please contact: Jonathan Lytle, 07990 782863.