Roku Sushi + Ramen isn't easy to spot on the restaurant-dotted side of Katipunan Avenue, across Ateneo de Manila University. Although there is a sizable billboard on the side of the Oracle Building, which houses it, unless you catch the restaurant's details on the board and manage to turn into the building's parking area in time, you might end up having to do a double U-turn to get to it. The restaurant's on the fifth floor, which means it isn't visible from the street, but a standup sign at the building's entrance helps you get a glimpse of what Roku has to offer.
You'll have to take the elevator to the fifth floor, but Roku is right beside it, so finding the restaurant isn't too much of a problem. It's got a great view of Ateneo de Manila University's grounds, and the interiors are well-lit, modern, and comfortable. It's a good place for families, friends, or casual dates.
The sushi is well-made and generously so. I really hate it when sushi rolls are made with more rice than anything else. It's for this reason that I'm a fan of their California Maki Roll (P179)--besides rolling up kani and mango slices in rice, seaweed, and roe, each piece is topped with kani for a crab overload. The Roku Roll (P239) is another option for those who want to order something more unique. The roll is stuffed with kani and topped with tuna and salmon sashimi slices. The spicy sauce drizzled onto the roll adds a bit of a kick to each bite. And the S.S. Roll (P199) is a must-try for salmon lovers. Salmon skin and cream cheese are rolled up and topped with fresh salmon sashimi. The salmon skin gives the roll a bit of crunch, while the cream cheese and salmon smooth it down.
The ramen bowls are pretty huge--one bowl is good for two, especially if you're ordering sushi or other dishes with it. The noodles are made fresh at a restaurant, which really makes a difference. The broths are flavorful and served steaming hot. For a comforting bowl of goodness, try the Roku Ramen (P219) or Gyuniku Ramen (P249). But we also enjoyed the rich aroma and flavor of the Katsucurry Ramen (P249). All three ramen dishes use a broth that is wonderfully flavorful from the shoyu soy sauce mixed into it.
While I thought that the donburi dishes tended to have more rice than needed, I had no other complaints, and I realize that this may only be an issue because I'm trying to cut back on carbs. For someone in college, this might well be the perfect amount of rice for a rice bowl. I tried both the Katsudon (P189) and the Gyudon (P259), but I'll admit I was partial to the Gyudon because the sukiyaki beef was really tender and I really love the saltiness the shiitake mushrooms add to the dish.
For dessert, I'd definitely recommend Milka's Apple Pie Gyoza (P189), which consists of five flaky apple-stuffed dumplings drizzled in caramel and served a la mode. Also available are Dark Belgian Truffle Cake (P189) and Mochi (P79)--you can choose to have it filled with Green Tea, Red Bean, or Vanilla ice cream.
I've been to Roku twice, both times with my husband, and had food picked up from there twice more. All in all, while the rates are a bit above what I'd call student prices, I would consider eating here a bang-for-your-buck experience. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive, the view is great, and the ambiance is quietly comfortable.
Check out the gallery below for photos of the food and interiors at Roku.
Roku Sushi + Ramen is open daily from 11AM to 11PM. It is located on the fifth floor of the Oracle Building on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. You can call 02-3525780 for inquiries and reservations, or check out their Facebook fan page.
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- S.S. Roll, P199This roll contains salmon skin and cream cheese and is topped with fresh salmon sashimi slices and sesame seeds. You won't even need to add soy sauce and wasabi to enjoy each bite.
- Roku Roll, P239This signature roll has kani in the center and fresh salmon and tuna sashimi slices on top. It's drizzled with a spicy sauce that lends the dish some zing.
- Pork Gyoza, P129Pork and vegetables are spiced, rolled into dumplings, and fried in this classic Japanese dish.
- Roku Ramen, P219Chashu pork, bok choy, egg, spring onions, nori, and freshly made ramen noodles swim in a hot shoyu broth for this signature ramen dish.
- Katsucurry Ramen, P249Tonkatsu pork is topped with potatoes, carrots, and curry sauce over freshly made noodles swimming in a salty shoyu broth.
- Gyuniku Ramen, P249Here's another shoyu-based ramen dish, this one topped with thinly sliced beef, shiitake mushrooms, bok choi, and a hard-boiled egg.
- Tonkatsu, P169Tender porkloin is breaded, deep-fried, and served up with katsu sauce and cabbage salad on the side.
- Gyudon, P259Sweet-and-salty sukiyaki-cut beef, sliced shiitake mushrooms, and a raw egg top this dish, which is great if you're carbo-loading.
- Milka's Apple Pie Gyoza, P189This is Roku's signature dessert--these fluffy "gyoza" dumplings contain caramelized apples and are drizzled with caramel sauce. They're also served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Roku Ramen + SushiRoku can be found just beside the elevator bank on the fifth floor of the Oracle building on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.
- Roku Ramen + SushiThe interiors are done in white and tan, with accents in black and red. Piped in music is kept at a low volume, so you don't have to compete with the sound system to carry on a conversation.
- Roku Ramen + SushiWherever you sit in the restaurant, you'll be able to glimpse the view of Ateneo de Manila University's greenery and Rizal Library. An al fresco dining area is also available for reservation.