ROKA AKOR BRAND OPENS HOUSTON OUTPOST ON JUNE 26
The Japanese sushi and steakhouse concept unveils new layout, Kobe beef and beverage program
JNK Concepts restaurant group will expand the Roka Akor brand and open in Houston, TX on Monday, June 26. Roka Akor’s fifth location and first Texas outpost will be located in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood at 2929 Weslayan on the ground floor of the luxury high-rise.
With a slew of national accolades under its belt, the Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant will offer an extensive Wagyu beef program in Houston’s competitive restaurant landscape. Roka Akor will be among a very select group of restaurants in Texas to offer certified Japanese wagyu, featuring three selections: Certified Kobe from Tajima, Certified Miyazaki from Kysho Island, and Certified Shiga from Hokkaido. The menu will also offer Prime American cuts from long time purveyors, such as Greater Omaha and Snake River Farms. Steaks will be grilled with refined Japanese techniques on Roka Akor’s open-charcoal robata grill, alongside signature dishes, including cold appetizers, hot appetizers, robata-grilled classics, modern style nigiri, and sushi.
For the first time in brand history, Roka Akor will have a dedicated sushi counter. Six prime seats will be available for guests to enjoy premium, exotic, and rare fish selected daily by the Chef and available a la carte. Another first includes an open pastry kitchen that will be located in the heart of the restaurant, where house-made sorbets, ice creams and decadent platters from the dessert program are prepared on display.
Roka Akor’s 6,500-square foot space will offer multiple seating options, including an intimate sushi bar, communal tables,two private dining rooms that can accommodate 20 – 40 people, outdoor patio, and Roka Bar, a separate lounge area. The design honors the Japanese brand’s quintessential aesthetic featuring natural, warm wood details with contemporary décor and sleek lighting. The center of guests’ visual experience will be the robata grill, consistent with the open-kitchen layout of other Roka Akor locations. Inside seating accommodates up to 210 guests with an additional 100 seats available on the outdoor patio.
Longtime veterans of Roka Akor, Corporate Executive Chef Ce Bian and Executive Sushi Chef Mike Lim will lead Houston’s opening team, spearheading seasonal menu changes and incorporating local ingredients whenever possible. Time-honored signature dishes from Roka Akor’s other four locations will be featured on the Houston menu, such as Robata Grilled Yuzu Miso Marinated Black Cod and Beef Tataki with Truffle Jus showcasing locally sourced Texas Wagyu. Roka Akor’s decadentOmakase – translated as “to entrust the chef”—will be available for adventurous diners to experience a personalized tasting menu with premium, chef-selected ingredients.
“The Houston menu represents Roka Akor’s unique, experiential approach to Japanese cuisine and was designed to reflect the region’s seasonal ingredients,” said Ce Bian, corporate executive chef at Roka Akor. “We look forward to bringing the signature Roka Akor experience and robatayaki cuisine to the Houston market.”
Roka Bar’s cocktail program boasts a selection of Japanese beer and whiskey as well as shochu, a low proof Japanese distilled spirit, house-made and infused with flavors such as blood orange and mango chile. The Wakoucha cocktail was uniquely crafted for the Houston location, with the city’s summer heat in mind. This adult take on sweet tea combines an herbal blend of gin with Averna, yuzu, Russian tea syrup, and finished with guava.
Director of Beverage for JNK Concepts Rob Holder developed a wine and sake program to complement Japanese cuisine and reflect Roka Akor’s commitment to variety. The restaurant’s award-winning wine program will include an extensive list of more than 200 labels, with California and France as dominant regions. Roka Akor will feature one of the most extensive sake lists with more than 60 labels varying in size and style. The corporate team will be supported by local industry veterans, General Manager Ryan Snyder and Ricky Cheung, the restaurant’s assistant general manager and sommelier.
Roka Akor will be open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner daily from 5 p.m. to 11p.m. Roka Bar will offer happy hour daily from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
ABOUT ROKA AKOR
Roka Akor brings an unparalleled combination of thoughtful design and contemporary Robata Japanese cuisine to five locations across the U.S., including Scottsdale, San Francisco, Chicago, Skokie, IL, and Houston (opening June 2017). The restaurant’s name is derived from two words: RO and KA. The meaning of the first word is hearth, a gathering place where people socialize and take in the ambience; the latter stands for a burning fire and projecting energy. Managed by JNK Concepts, Roka Akor’s menu changes seasonally, including a rotating selection of prime-cut steaks, seafood, and vegetables with Japanese-inspired marinades and sauces, along with sushi and sashimi. The restaurant’s design features a centrally located robata grill that provides the heart of the visual experience, surrounded by rich wood décor and sleek lighting. For more information please visit https://www.rokaakor.com/houst
ABOUT JNK CONCEPTS
Inspired by his passion for global cuisine, Dr. John N. Kapoor, founded JNK Concepts in 2008 after opening Roka Akor in Scottsdale, AZ. Nine years later, the company’s portfolio has grown to eight restaurants with five locations for Roka Akor, including Houston (opening June 2017), two locations for Marigold Maison Indian Cuisine, and one Enolo Wine Café. Each restaurant opened by JNK Concepts contains a thoughtfully crafted menu with accompanying wine and spirits programs that are both innovative and approachable. For more information please visit www.jnkconcepts.com.