Yelp Chicago’s Tasty Journey To The East

Winter blues filling you with wanderlust? Do you just need to go somewhere? It may not have come with a passport, but Roka Akor gave the Yelp Chicago Elite Squad a trip to remember when they discovered Yelp's Goin' Japanese. Think of it as travel without the jetlag.

6867698933_45aa862e3c_b 6867700669_43e0dcd6e5_b 6867699813_3648299dba_b 6867700403_227aec9caa_b

To ensure the event started off on a spicy notes, enamored guests were greeted with Roka's signature cocktail: the Ginger Daiquiri. This drink brought heat and kick to a cold, wintery Chicago afternoon. Sufficiently warmed up, Elites clinked glasses of red and white wine to accompany their rosy cheeks and enticed tastebuds.

6867695859_8c3aa74f6a_b 6867697517_f2e93a5569_b 6867696293_97e445023f_b 6867699335_ef20b65dc5_b

Enticed? Certainly. For as dedicated as the cocktail program is, Roka is known for its fantastic cuisine — and guests got to experience every delectable morsel. Samples of the Hamachi Serrano Roll, Salmon Avocado Roll and Organic Vegetable Roll began the maki lovefest. Lest you think maki was the only example of Roka's culinary mastery, Elites feasted their eyes (and tummies) on Rock Shrimp Tempura, Robata Grilled Sweet Potatoes, Wagyu Beef & Kimchi Dumplings, and Skewers. Without a doubt, this menu knocked some socks off.

6867695773_57f4952515_b 6867696189_8be82c974a_b 6867699861_96e77a072d_b 6867700249_58d7258560_b

But… there's more. Not content to simply be a restaurant that serves great food and drink, Roka demonstrated what sets it apart from the rest — in two parts. Part 1 involved a stop at the Robata Grill where guests were privy to a demonstration by Executive Chef Ce Bian on preparing Robatayaki-style "open charcoal" cuisine. After that, bar manager Jamie Grenon showcased Roka's Shochu collection, a Japanese distilled spirit that is typically distilled from barley, sweet potatoes or rice. Ramping up the evening, Roka raffled off a $200 return trip to the restaurant to the thrilled Claudia M. Capturing every hot moment and cool experience was foodie photographer par excellence Andres DeLeon. Check out his photos here and read what guests had to say here.

6867696363_9d567f7fee_b 6867698597_a379cf1061_b 6867698325_625bd5658f_b 6867698713_0e987d3d51_b

Eastbound and down,

Johnny T