Delving into Japanese fusion food while indulging in some entertainment is top of the menu at Rokku Sushi Lounge and Bistro. Editor Marissa Carruthers and photographer Charles Fox sample its delights.

With an abundance of sushi joints dotted throughout the capital, creating a venue with a unique twist was top of the agenda for the owners of Rokku Sushi Lounge and Bistro.

Considering one of the co-owners is Cambodia-American pop princess Laura Mam, it doesn’t take much to guess what the twist is – music.

Spread across six floors, Rokku Sushi Lounge + Bistro is a glitzy eatery, bar and entertainment hub. As well as serving up top notch sushi and delicious dining options that infuse Japanese and Western ingredients, each floor offers something different, from an open mic karaoke stage and live bands, to billiard tables and DJs, with level five home to a sky bar deck and the top floor housing a VIP lounge.

Having opened its doors in January, the venue recently started catering to the midday crowd with the launch of its lunch sets, which range from $8 to $11.

We opted for the salmon teriyaki set ($9) and it wasn’t long before a range of dishes landed at our table.

In keeping with the red and black colour scheme that runs throughout the stylish venue, the food was served on a black tray with red trim.

You definitely can’t accuse the chefs of being stingy with their portions because the grilled salmon fillet was a generous one, coated in lashings of teriyaki sauce, and accompanied by a bowl of steamed rice, miso soup, yellow daikon radish and mixed salad with toasted sesame dressing.

The salmon was to die for, with the marinated fish falling apart on the fork. The teriyaki sauce was far from overbearing, which it often can be, adding an almost smoky but sweet tang. The miso soup was flavoursome, with the salt and soy beans shining through.

The rib-eye beef udon set ($9) presented a large bowl of broth packed full of flavour as well as thick, soft udon noodles and large, tender hunks of beef topped with chopped spring onions. It is also served with yellow daikon radish and mixed salad.

It’s almost rude to visit a Japanese restaurant without ordering mixed tempura ($9), and here prawns, aubergine and baby corn are served in a crisp batter, that was far from greasy, and a tentsuya dipping sauce.

Leaving the lunch menu behind, we opted for one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the Rokku Fusion Roll ($14). Eight pieces of perfectly presented sushi see small chunks of tuna and avocado topped with American tenderloin beef and ponzu sauce.

The sushi roll was tight, sticking together when tackled with chopsticks rather than falling apart and making a mess. The beef was tender and tasty, surprisingly complementing the fresh tuna inside, while the ponzo sauce added a slight tart zest to the equation.

Having stuffed our faces, there was only one thing to do – order a classy cocktail and get sifting through the karaoke options before burning off some calories while singing and dancing the night away.

507 Sisowath Quay, corner of Suramarit Boulevard, Phnom Penh.
Tel: 070 999 100.
Open Sunday to Thursday from 11am to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 2am.