Japanese Flavour At Its Finest: Robata Soho Review

When it comes to Asian food, I really can’t resist. From Chinese to Thai and Vietnamese, I’ll devour it all. So when Robata opened up on Old Compton Street, I seized the opportunity for a review.


Low-key exteriors gave way to an open kitchen, where the robata grill rested in prime position. Sat closest to the chefs, we were in for quite the heat. Cooling off with a couple of cocktails, we went for the whisky and hibiscus-centred Aka Toki and an Ume Ocha which combined plum sake, pineapple and peach, though a little too sugary.

Delving into the menu, we trusted our lovely waiter to choose a fabulous selection of dishes. Butterfish tataki was perfectly fleshy yet tart at the same time, while tuna tartare topped with quail’s egg was tossed together at our table and pudgy pork gyoza was both steamed and fried for pure perfection.

The most expensive on the menu, beef fillet cooked beautifully at the table… but this was no match for the mouthwatering miso aubergine. Mixed in front of our eyes, it was a gorgeous mix of pickled shimeji mushroom and red chilli; plump and moreish in every bite.

Just when we thought we couldn’t manage anymore, we were faced with two fat bao buns stuffed with soft shell crab, green mango, purple shiso, cucumber, red chilli and lashings of spicy mayo. Even the fries were tasty; topped in truffle dusting for that umami finish.

Did Robata hit the mark? Absolutely. Not only was every dish a real winner, but the aubergine was such a standout that I’ve been raving about it ever since. It’s so good that you really need to try it for yourself.

The verdict: 8/10

The damage: (£123 for two of us, but comped)

What we ate: 

  • Butterfish tataki (£8)
  • Tuna tartare (£9)
  • Pork gyoza (£8)
  • Crispy duck salad (£8)
  • Hay-flamed beef fillet (£35)
  • Soft shell crab bao (£14)
  • Miso aubergine (£11.50)
  • Truffle fries (£8)

What we drank: 

  • Aka Toki (£11) Suntory Toki whisky, hibiscus concentrate + hibiscus syrup, topped with soda
  • Ume Ocha (£11) Umeshu plum sake, pineapple juice, peach liqueur + Sakura tea foam

Dinner in pictures:


You’ll find Robata at 56 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UE.

London Girl ✖️

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