This Sashimi Is So Beautiful We Don't Know Whether To Eat It Or Frame It
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The inclination isn't so much to eat Akira's assortment of sashimi — as to perspex it over, nail it to your living room wall, and invite friends round to coo at its craftsmanship. Such are the trinkets created by the dextrous chefs, scuttering about in the open-plan kitchen, sitting above Japan House.
Taste-wise too, the three-course set dinner menu we try (more courses are available if you require them) is akin to being beamed up from Planet Itsu and whisked to another, superior sushi dimension. Chopsticks dart from compartment to compartment of the bento box, eager to pinch up morsels of fatty tuna with egg yolk; smoked eel perched on spinach (now THAT'S how you do eel); pickled veggies; fried potato studded with pomegranate; tart slivers of sea bass; a cube of Japanese omelette. No one designates what to eat with what — this is an experiment of the taste buds, albeit one where you can't go far wrong.
The sensory-pleasing smorgasbord is preluded with a melodramatic volcanic rock bearing a sole nugget of deep fried salmon with parmesan (it crackles in the mouth as flying fish roe explodes), while a main of pink lamb ribs arrive chargrilled to perfection. No wonder Akira's such a minimalist setting: it's a blank canvas for all these vivacious dishes.
Akira at Japan House, 101-111 Kensington High Street, W8 5SA
Last Updated 08 May 2019