Akira at Japan House London

It could also be on the no-travel checklist for us Brits, however it’s nonetheless attainable to take pleasure in an genuine Japanese eating expertise in London at the fabulous Akira restaurant at Japan House.

Located in prosperous Kensington, the “cultural home if Japan” showcases the perfect of Japanese artwork, design and gastronomy, while by no means taking itself too severely. They are at present internet hosting an exhibition known as Architecture for Dogs, and it’s precisely what it says on the tin.

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 to be 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.

Interior of Akira Restaurant
Interior of Akira Restaurant (c) Lucy Woods

The entrance of the restaurant is dominated by the kitchen, the place you possibly can observe the cooks in motion via the clear display.

Akira welcomes households, professionals and anybody who loves Japan and Japanese delicacies.

Food and drink

Having travelled to northern Japan earlier this 12 months for the primary time, I used to be excited to pattern an genuine Japanese menu that I hoped would transport me again to that great 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 foremost course, both from the grill or a particular sushi choice. Both foremost programs embody a bowl of warming miso soup.

Akira sake bowls
Fabulous collection of sake cups (c) Lucy Woods

 

As we waited for our appetiser, we shared a carafe of chilled Azure sake made at 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, offered us with a powerful collection of sake cups of various colors to select from, including an enthralling aspect to our eating expertise.

While sipping on our sake, scrumptious smells wafted from the kitchen and I used to be very a lot wanting ahead to our meal. The appetiser for the day was seared smoked eel with sashimi pepper and white cabbage and radicchio salad. Whilst eel might sound slightly difficult for the palate, it was cooked fantastically and seemed so scrummy with its dusting of pink and orange spices, I barely registered the “eel” half.

Next on the menu have been the various sashimi, greens and Japanese osozai (home made aspect dishes). This was offered 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 light-weight watercress salad with Wasabi, sea bass sashimi, salmon with flying fish roe and fried potato salad and shiso leaf and pomegranate have 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. Presented on a sizzling 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 mentioned was splendidly tender.

The sushi choice was additionally fantastically offered, however for me was slightly too just like our second course. It was, nevertheless, accompanied by a panko-fried tomato with a splendidly crisp batter. I felt this was an uncommon alternative of vegetable to deep fry, however by some means it labored.

Despite virtually reaching saturation degree, we couldn’t assist sampling considered one of Akira’s desserts. We shared a matcha mille crepe cake, the fan favorite, and it was deliciously gentle and never too candy.

Verdict

We so loved our meal at Akira that nearly three hours flew by with out us noticing. The delicacies definitely tastes genuine and is clearly cooked and served with pleasure. The presentation was significantly spectacular, and it’s, for that reason, I might select Akira over different Japanese eating places in London.

Akira can also be effectively fitted to good enterprise lunches, so in case your choice is for a lighter chunk, there’s an amazing collection of bento containers, 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.

Getting there

Japan House London is situated on the nook of Kensington High Street and Derry Street, inside a two-minute strolling distance from High Street Kensington Station.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, capability is for 40 folks as a substitute of the same old 56, so be sure to e book a couple of days prematurely to keep away from disappointment.

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