Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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800-452-4462 | www.hlcdinnerware.com Ready to lend an inviting vibe to your tabletops is Charcoal, the newest color in the Brownfi eld line from the Homer Laughlin China Company. Along with its classic coupe shape, handcrafted appearance, and superb durability, Brownfi eld off ers an inspiring canvas for your creative menu items. RUSTIC, YET ELEGANT NEW COLOR materials themselves add character and depth to the restaurant. Most of the energy and life in Roka Akor, though, comes from its fully open kitchen. The kitchen divides into four main sections: Sushi, hot, dessert and the robata grill — the heart of the restaurant, Mehra says. This kitchen does as much as anything to create Roka Akor's guest experience. The activity helps energize the restaurant, while the sounds and smells, particularly from the robata grill, help create "a complete experience." This layout of Roka Akor's kitchen has evolved with each new store opening. The first restaurant, in Phoenix, has only the robata grill in front. The chain's San Francisco and Chicago operations display additional cooking areas where possible. The Houston location represents the first location to showcase the full kitchen. "Coming to Houston, we had a blank canvas, allowing us to do what we always wanted to do — a perfect L-shaped kitchen," Mehra says. "You can see the entire display of the entire kitchen right in the heart of the restaurant." This display starts with the sushi area, the first kitchen section guests encounter when entering the dining room. The design of the wooden top on the standard-height seating area includes a live, or natural, tree edge. Guests can enjoy their meal there while watching chefs at work. One thing they won't see, though, is a display of fresh raw fish. Instead of showcasing sea- food on ice, Roka Akor keeps its sushi in custom-made under- counter refrigerators below the work surface. Having the fish on display, with higher temperatures and changing air currents, can impact its quality, according to Group Executive Chef Ce Bian. "We try to touch the fish as lightly as we can." Similarly, undercounter refrigerators along the back wall store most sushi garnishes, while shelving on the wall holds jars and tins of spices and seasonings. The chain's hot kitchen, which follows the sushi kitchen, produces items like dumplings, soups and Japanese hot pots. The hot kitchen's hot line sits against the back wall and starts with the fry station. This station includes one deep fryer for items like fried calamari. Next to the deep fryer sits the tem- pura fryer — just a few steps from the sushi chefs who make use of tempura-fried ingredients. Along with the fryers themselves, the fry station includes a small refrigerated worktable that holds batters for fried items on top, along with shrimp, squid and other to-be-fried items below. After the fry station comes a flattop grill, which the chain uses to cook dumplings and like items (stored below in refrigerated

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