Robata Ramen & Yakitori Bar
First off, Robata is adorable.
The inside is very cozy and would be a great place to go on a date or even sit at the bar.
We were super excited about it opening, so I really have no idea why it took us so long to try it. Last week, on snow day #3, I thought it might be nice to get Warren and the monkeys (Satchel, 12, and Jiro, 10) out of Warren's house. (I'd been going to work all week so I was not suffering from cabin fever.)
It smelled great and was packed. We were able to be seated right away though. Our waiter came right over and we ordered drinks--waters all around and happy hour sake for Warren. The water pitcher was a re-purposed St. Germaine bottle. (Robata is Project Green Fork certified, so I am guessing this is one of their extra steps.)
We studied the menu trying to make up our minds. I had even looked online before inviting the boys and I was still unsure. Jiro actually settled pretty quickly on a rice bowl with fried chicken -- kara-age don. I tried to talk Satchel into the build your own ramen bowl, but he resisted. He decided on the bbq pork don, which is a rice bowl with, you guessed it, bbq pork. Warren also opted for a rice dish--the takana yaki meshi. I decided to get a few appetizers to share. They were out of gyoza, so the waiter recommended shumai. I also ordered the Robata wings and the tuna poke.
The monkeys' rice bowls came out almost immediately and they dug right in.
A few minutes later, Warren's came out. He was surprised to see that it was more like fried rice than the kids' rice bowls.
Next up were the chicken wings.
Satchel, our resident chicken wing fiend turned his nose up at them because of the sesame seeds. The rest of us ate them and thought they were just ok.
The tuna poke had a nice presentation--the women next to us even asked me what it was.
There was actually quite a bit of tuna packed in the martini glass. Overall, again, I thought it was just ok. I didn't like the sauce and it was generally bland.
The waiter came to check on us and I let him know we were still waiting on the shumai. It eventually came out and the monkeys and I each grabbed one and took a big bite.
Unfortunately the inside was cold and they were not at all appetizing. I let the waiter know and he got us a new order that came out hot. They tasted much better! But now knowing they are a pre-ordered frozen item, I doubt I'll get them again. I can probably buy them myself at the Asian market.
So, we were all done eating and I was unsatisfied. I felt like we ordered all wrong. I mean they don't call it a ramen and yakitori bar for nothing! So I ordered a customized ramen with pork and tofu for everyone to share.
Soon the table was filled with happy slurping sounds and cries of, "Why didn't we get ramen in the first place!?"
We'll be back. And we'll start with the ramen.
Warren wants to go on a weekend so he can try the Japanese curry.