Authentic Japanese Dining at Akira
Taking a prime location on the top floor of London’s cultural hub Japan House, Akira, the eponymous restaurant by Akira Shimizu offers an innovative take on Japanese cuisine presented in a stylish and refined space overlooking Kensington High Street.
A contemporary yet unpretentious interior sets the tone for this modern eatery designed by Katayama Masamichi, diners can expect to be immersed in the elegance of the space evoking a traditional doma in a nod to the Japanese philosophy of place and home.
Aesthetically pleasing, Akira echoes the epitome of chic with its muted black ceiling and immaculate concrete floors which are complemented by bespoke woodwork, ceramic and sleek glassware. Oozing monochromatic style, the space feels contemporary and authentic which adds to the overall experience either sat on the main restaurant floor or at the popular open kitchen counter with its insightful hands-on immersion with the chefs at work.
Gastronomically, Akira certainly doesn’t disappoint, precision and the upmost attention to detail is invested in the appeasing menu of authentic Japanese which is influenced by modern European accents and Shimizu’s natural flair on modern cuisine. A curation of imaginative bento boxes, avant-garde sushi and robata-grilled dishes, the menu is centred around presenting the best ingredients in artfully thought out pairings of meat, vegetables and fish.
Served a la carte or through one of Akira’s Omakase menus, the theatre of the culinary delights adds fusion and excitement, once can expect to be served robata dishes sizzling on specially-crafted lava stones and the much-loved bento boxes synonymous with the restaurant are reminiscent of jewellery boxes filled with creatively produced sushi and sashimi.
Favourites on the menu range from speciality osozai and sashimi featuring the likes of salmon with fish eggs to wagyu beef adorned with truffle & cheese. Easy-to-navigate, the menu is divided into sushi/sashimi, rice/noodles dishes, appetisers, hot plates and larger robata grill dishes.
An array of Japanese classics are fused with an enticing European twist, think Japanese-style fish & chips and crab croquettes filled with cream. Offering separate menus for both lunch and dinner, highlights for those dining a la carte include the miso pork belly and the very tempting skewers chicken, wasabi & cheese.
Akira is open daily and can be booked online or by phone for lunch and dinner.
Text by Jaz Grewal