Lately, my family has fallen into a “dining out drudgery”. We’ve ran out of options on where to eat. When you have kids, their food preferences almost always dictate where the family dines. On Wednesday nights (our weekly date night) and Sunday mornings (after mass) when we are all inside the car, the husband asks “Where do you want to eat?” There’s usually a lull that follows or turning of heads as we repeat the question to each other.
So it was quite a delight when I discovered ROKU in Trinoma Mall. ROKU means “six” in Japanese. I was told later that the owners have six family members – hence the catchy name. The place has a fresh, industrial and quirky feel. Its modern light fixtures, stripped grey walls mixed with wooden touches and orange accents all seem to work as the restaurant was packed with diners. “We’re a casual dining restaurant that welcomes families and friends. We want to create a fun vibe for guests to enjoy as they share delicious Japanese favorites. This is our second branch,” said 22 year old owner Milka Romero. “See, we love to travel and Japan is one of our favorite places to visit. The food is fantastic and we wanted to bring the dishes back to Manila. To make it more appealing to the public, we have infused Filipino flavors to the Japanese recipes. I think we have been quite successful in our kitchen inventions,” added Sheila Romero, the other half of the beautiful enterprising mother-daughter duo behind ROKU.
The Usual, The New and The Unexpected
All time favorites ramen, sushi rolls, tempura and donburi are included in the menu. Ther servings are quite hefty and the prices affordable. What sets it apart from other Japanese restaurants? “It’s really the diversity of our menu. We are continually evolving so we can offer new and exciting flavors to the diners. We have all these flavors for our sushi rolls and people keep on coming back to try them. People are looking for a fresh take on the old favorites and it’s our mission to deliver!”, shares Milka enthusiastically.
The Dynamics of a Duo
Milka, a Management Economics graduate from Ateneo, says there is no better mentor in business than her Mom. “I’ve always been amazed at how my Mom gets everything done. She is such a multi-tasker! From her I learned that it’s important to be passionate about what I do and to put in the hours – no matter how long, She also constantly reminds me to take a look at the numbers! Time management and communicating with the staff are things that are indispensable too. “ I can see Sheila beaming at Milka “ It gives me pride to be able to teach my daughter and to see her thrive. I can see so much of myself in her – but she is the better version of me “ What’s next for ROKU? Another branch will soon open by next year. The dynamic duo has likewise created Sushi Nori which is all about sushi-on-the go.
Visit ROKU at317 Katipunan Ave, 5th Floor of Oracle Hotel and at the Ground Floor of Trinoma Mall. The brood and I just might bump into you!
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1. What’s your favorite dish in the menu ? Why?