Two veterans of NYC ‘s storied Japanese bar, Angels Share, Shigefumi Kabashima and Tetsuo Hasegawa have taken their talents to Hamilton Heights. Called ROKC (ramen, oysters, kitchen, and cocktails) the bar is located at 3452 Broadway. It is a relatively small place of about 30 seats that serves up ramen bowls, raw oysters, and inventive cocktails.
ROKC is a relatively small bar/restaurant; I would estimate seats about 30-36. It is down a short flight of stairs with large windows near the entrance and the bar situated in the back. I suggest coming with no larger than 4 in your party. The bar is a small L shaped bar that seats about 8-10 people. Big band and jazz music fill the air without it overwhelming conversation.
ROKC has a limited selection of flavorful ramen, pork and shrimp buns, and a raw bar. Do not come here hungry as it can take some time for the ramen to make its appearance at your table but it is well worth the wait. The broths are rich and succulent and do much to warm the soul.
The drinks here are stellar with presentation just as important as taste. The Thai Tea (cachaça, Thai tea, condensed milk, absinthe) is served with a side of the drink inside an egg in a bird’s nest. The Pineapple (passion fruit, rum, pineapple, vanilla, lime) is served inside of a copper pineapple with over proof rum set on fire inside a spent lime shell. There are drinks served in seashells, light bulbs, copper mugs, and even on a stone plate with a side of cheese. These drinks are expertly crafted and balanced. There are a couple like the Pistachio (dry gin, house pistachio cream, Campari, clementine) which tend to fall on the sweeter side of things. You will not be disappointed by the drinks. At ROKC they are sure to put on a show that will not disappoint.
Service is professional and courteous. They keep an eye on you without being intrusive and rushing you along. At times we wished that they had been a touch more proactive when our water glasses got low but overall service was solid.
With the talent behind the bar and the flavorful and rich ramen coming out of the kitchen, this is sure to be a hit. As the craft cocktail revolution continues to creep its way further uptown, I look forward to more unique spots taking advantage of the cheaper rent and the relatively open playing fields that Upper Manhattan and the Bronx offer. Be sure to check out this amazing spot as NYC heads into hibernation for the winter; this place is sure to warm your insides and satisfy your craving for crafted cocktails.
ROKC (ramen, oysters, kitchen, cocktails)
New York, NY 10031