Japanese restaurant ROKA to open its doors in Saudi Arabia this spring


This Spring 2021, ROKA is set to open its doors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as one of the first key international brands to enter its up-and-coming F&B scene. 

The new venue is the brainchild of co-founder and creator Rainer Becker, and the brand’s second international opening following the launch of ROKA Dubai. Located on the new Tahlia Gate, the 5,629 square-foot venue seats 161 diners inside and 82 covers on the terrace.

ROKA brings to Riyadh its award-winning robatayaki concept and contemporary Japanese cooking. The robata grill is at the heart of its menu, a traditional method inspired by fishermen cooking fish over charcoal on the boats of Northern coastal water off Japan.

Highlight dishes from the flaming grill include kankoku fu kohitsuji (lamb cutlets with Korean spices and sesame cucumber) and the yakitori-negima yaki (grilled chicken skewers with spring onion). ROKA Riyadh will also be serving key signature dishes such as the sake no taru taru (salmon tartare with den miso and yuzu) and kampachi sashimi no salada (yellowtail sashimi, yuzu-truffle dressing), a dish made famous in London. 

Commenting on the new opening, Rainer Becker says, “After such a warm reception in Dubai, we are extremely excited to launch our second GCC location in Riyadh and showcase the ROKA experience to the community. The launch of Saudi Seasons cultural events has been used as a springboard for many brands to make moves into the Kingdom, and we have plans to launch ROKA’s sister restaurant Zuma 2022. The Saudi culinary scene will be one to watch this year.” 

The announcement follows the news that Azumi Ltd had partnered with MJS (Mohammed Jawa) Holding to expand the Azumi brands into the Kingdom. Azumi Limited is an award-winning global restaurant business with established brands offering contemporary dining in key cosmopolitan locations. 

Created by Rainer Becker, and co-founded with Arjun Waney, Azumi’s journey began with the opening of Zuma London in 2002, followed by ROKA London in 2004. In addition to the Zuma and ROKA Japanese concepts, Oblix opened in The Shard in 2013.