Next time you’re up in Harlem, walk slowly or you might miss one of the best new cocktail spots in the city. A few steps below sidewalk level and without much of any signage to speak of sits ROKC—that stands for Ramen Oysters Kitchen Cocktails. Inside there are just a few tables and a long bar where you can sit and watch the bartender, Shige, masterfully craft cocktails. While his shaking technique is captivating, the way he presents cocktails is incredibly thoughtful and creative. One cocktail called Flower (shochu, lavender, elderflower cranberry) arrives in a lightbulb sitting in a pot filled with ice while another called Cucumber (spicy tequila, cucumber, lime, bell pepper) comes in a frozen bell pepper. Then of course there are the showpieces, Shige lights his Pineapple cocktail on fire and the appropriately named Smoke cocktail is served with a large glass dome containing the smoke flavoring the drink. But beyond the presentation the drinks are delicious and perfectly balanced.
But this place doesn’t stop at serving great drinks. It also has four bowls of incredible, flavorful ramen. The Tokyo ramen has a soy sauce-flavored fish broth with pork belly and bonito powder sprinkled over the top. Then there’s the seasonal ramen that changes every few months and the best yuzu edamame you’ll find anywhere.
With no phone number or website you just have to drop by to check it out and we highly recommend you do.