LOTI Eats | Akira Back

The acclaimed chef, who has several restaurants around the world, now has an outpost in London

The 148-cover restaurant from Michelin star chef Akira Back has opened its doors inside the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair at Hanover Square. With a menu that features some of his greatest hits, alongside some surprise exclusives, his modern take on Japanese food is so exciting and fun. The experience here is impressive in a whole list of ways, starting with the moment you stand on the floor above and look out over the incredible space below.

Eat This

The AB tuna pizza with umami aioli, tuna sashimi, micro shiso and white truffle oil is getting all the attention. And rightly so; it’s a fun way of eating and I can say I’ve never eaten a dish that’s similar. As each slice is taken from the plate, a wash of vibrant colour is revealed, a nod to the artistic talents of chef Akira’s mother. The dynamite lobster with pickled shimeji is a London exclusive, so this is one not to miss, as it the wagyu short rib with braising juices and root vegetables on a bed of mash. For those wondering if you can eat mash with chopsticks, the answer is yes, yes you can.

Drink This

ABar Lounge sits opposite the restaurant and boasts more incredible interiors, including a shimmering bronze metallic ceiling. The cocktails are fun and vibrant, and the Shochili Mango (made with Altos Reposado tequila, Hwayo soju, mango, lime and togarashi) is super refreshing and a little too easy to sink. On the wine side, we did try quite an unusual white, the Chateau Changyu Moser XV Helan Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc de Noir, made with grapes grown in the Ningxia region of China and aged in oak barrels, which worked so well with the short rib.

Why Go

The interior alone is something special; the suspended green marble spiral staircase, the extraordinarily high ceilings, the artwork, even the various uniforms the team wear is all interesting and shows off the finer details of what makes a restaurant great. The dishes might surprise you too as they’re different to what you’d expect in a modern Japanese restaurant in London, so that’s something that really sets Akira Back apart. The central location right next to the Lizzie line makes it super convenient and though it comes with a price tag, if you need somewhere extra special for an occasion, it ticks those boxes. Plus, there’s a rooftop terrace coming later in the year.

22 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1JP