Rokka Restaurant Odessa – Seriously good!

May 1, 2011

Well dear readers, it has been a long time since I have been enthused by a gastronomic discovery in Odessa, at least to the point where I wanted to write about it and share it with you all.

However, just down the road from the British Council at the crossroads of Admiralsky and 5 Station Bolshoi Fantan you will find a large glass facaded building.  Here you will find a true gem in the culinary landscape of Odessa. Restaurant Rokka.

Entrance to Rokka

Yes I know for you tourists it means leaving the familiarity of Deribasovskaya and taking a 10 minute taxi ride out of the city, but it is certainly worth the trip.

Rokka can very easily have been lifted directly from the more trendy restaurant areas of London and beamed into Odessa.  It is comfortable, aesthetically pleasing with a modern Japanese decorated feel but with a menu that far surpasses the sushi orientated expectations when you walk in.  The sushi there is, however, great and prepared directly in the full view of the customer.

English menu-18.04.11

Unlike many restaurants in Odessa, there was no music.  It was possible to have a conversation without raising your voice.   Surprisingly at 4.30 in the afternoon it was half full of young Ukrainians and in the evening, the owner, Alexander Bergart states he can fill the restaurant 3 times over such is the demand.  Once you try the food, it is easy to understand why.

Inside Rokka

The steaks at Rokka are better than any steak I have had in Ukraine in all the years I have been here.  There is truly no effort or chewing required.  They simply melt in the mouth.

My personal favourite – The Rokka Steak, which to my undisciplined palette retained the memories of a honey and garlic marinade to perfection, was sublime.  Quite simply I could not fault it.

Where so very many Odessa restaurants fail is desserts.  I am not a big fan of desserts and have a taste for the savoury rather than the sweet, therefore the usual disappointments regarding desserts in Odessa do not overly bother me.

However, if you are like me in this regard, go to Rokka and try the chocolate fantan – You will be converted on the spot.

It arrives as a chocolate pyramid of thin sponge surrounded by a green tea souse and a small amount of mint ice cream.  Those readers who actually know me will understand than anything to do with green tea is automatically my first choice and thus why I decided to even bother with a dessert.  Intrigue!

Upon breaking the seal on the sponge pyramid copious amounts of hot quality chocolate ebbed forward like a lava flow meeting a green tea sauce similar to a volcano meeting the sea.  My skills with the English language will never do justice to this particular dessert.  I can only recommend it so you can experience this sensation yourself.

Whilst I am not converted from my savoury palette, I am a true fan of the chocolate fantan, even if it makes me more rotund than I already am in the coming years.

Sorry, the chocolate fantan didn't last long enough to be photogrpahed - You will have to make do with another interior shot!

Those lucky people at the British Council having such a wonderful, if waist expanding, restaurant within 400 meters of the building.  It’s almost enough to make me want to work for a UK NGO…..or more specifically that particular branch of a UK NGO!

The service is also faultless.  There when you want it, invisible when you don’t.

If you are ever in Odessa, get a taxi and head to Rokka, 5 Bolshoi Fantana, when you are bored of the usual tourist restaurants in the centre.  You will not be disappointed by anything you will experience…..unless you cannot get a table…..so here is the telephone number if you want to book – (048) 7070070!

If Alex is there, he speaks good English and will regale you with tales of his 30 years in the restaurant trade around the world…..and if you are a Brit, he loves the London restaurant scene and is a frequent visitor.

In summary, it is hard to find a better all round restaurant experience in Odessa, but very easy to find a worse one……and it has more than its fair share of very very pretty clientele!

One comment

  1. Menu looks full of delicious, mouthwatering treats. Can’t wait to try this eatery with you and your dear lady later in the year!

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