It might be on the no-travel record for us Brits, however it’s nonetheless doable to take pleasure in an genuine Japanese eating expertise in London on the fabulous Akira restaurant at Japan Home.
Situated in prosperous Kensington, the “cultural dwelling if Japan” showcases the easiest of Japanese artwork, design and gastronomy, while by no means taking itself too critically. They’re at present internet hosting an exhibition known as Structure for Canines, and it’s precisely what it says on the tin.
READ ALSO: Exhibition: Structure for Canines, Japan Home
The restaurant is situated on the primary flooring, and following a pandemic-themed hiatus, re-opened its doorways to diners on September 4th.
Akira, which is known as after Chef Shimizu Akira, definitely seems the half and opts for traditional Japanese minimalism: the spacious restaurant has naked white partitions, a dramatic black, textured ceiling and easy picket tables and chairs.
The entrance of the restaurant is dominated by the kitchen, the place you may observe the cooks in motion by way of the clear display screen.
Akira welcomes households, professionals and anybody who loves Japan and Japanese delicacies.
Food and drinks
Having travelled to northern Japan earlier this yr for the primary time, I used to be excited to pattern an genuine Japanese menu that I hoped would transport me again to that fantastic sashimi-filled time.
We selected the lunchtime slot as Akira gives a particular three-course menu for £60. This contains an appetiser, assorted sashimi choice and fundamental course, both from the grill or a particular sushi choice. Each fundamental programs embody a bowl of warming miso soup.
As we waited for our appetiser, we shared a carafe of chilled Azure sake made on the Tosatsuru brewery on Shikoku Island. The sake was filtered in deep ocean water and is served on a mattress of ice. Our waiter, Robert, introduced us with an impressive collection of sake cups of various colors to select from, including a captivating ingredient to our eating expertise.
Whereas sipping on our sake, scrumptious smells wafted from the kitchen and I used to be very a lot trying ahead to our meal. The appetiser for the day was seared smoked eel with sashimi pepper and white cabbage and radicchio salad. While eel might sound slightly difficult for the palate, it was cooked fantastically and regarded so scrummy with its dusting of purple and orange spices, I barely registered the “eel” half.
Subsequent on the menu had been the various sashimi, greens and Japanese osozai (do-it-yourself aspect dishes). This was introduced to us in a big picket field, which we opened to find an explosion of color and textures. It actually was a “wow” second! Mushroom croquette, a lightweight watercress salad with Wasabi, sea bass sashimi, salmon with flying fish roe and fried potato salad and shiso leaf and pomegranate had been simply among the delights we sampled.
For the ultimate course, we shared the grill and sushi choice between us. For me, the robata grill, cooked over charcoal, was very a lot the star of the present. Introduced on a scorching stone with dipping sauces, we tucked right into a collection of mouth-watering lamb and hen skewers. The lamb was plump, juicy and uncommon, and easily melted within the mouth. My eating associate was equally as taken with the hen skewer, which she stated was splendidly tender.
The sushi choice was additionally fantastically introduced, however for me was slightly too much like our second course. It was, nonetheless, accompanied by a panko-fried tomato with a splendidly crisp batter. I felt this was an uncommon selection of vegetable to deep fry, however one way or the other it labored.
Regardless of nearly reaching saturation degree, we couldn’t assist sampling one among Akira’s desserts. We shared a matcha mille crepe cake, the fan favorite, and it was deliciously mild and never too candy.
We so loved our meal at Akira that just about three hours flew by with out us noticing. The delicacies definitely tastes genuine and is clearly cooked and served with satisfaction. The presentation was notably spectacular, and it’s, for that reason, I’d select Akira over different Japanese eating places in London.
Akira can also be effectively fitted to good enterprise lunches, so in case your desire is for a lighter chew, there’s an incredible collection of bento bins, noodles and donburi (rice bowl dish) on supply that price between £15 and £45. There are additionally some vegetarian choices, though vegans might battle with this specific menu.
Japan Home London is situated on the nook of Kensington Excessive Road and Derry Road, inside a two-minute strolling distance from Excessive Road Kensington Station.
Resulting from Covid-19 restrictions, capability is for 40 folks as a substitute of the standard 56, so ensure you e book a couple of days prematurely to keep away from disappointment.