New year, new Aqua Kyoto. The Japanese sister to the Spanish Aqua Neuva (also in the same building) and the British Aqua Shard (over in The Shard) has had a bit of a makeover. What that’s resulted in is dark and dramatic interiors, with a new marble clad sushi and robata counter on one side of the room with an architectural mirrored lighting installation behind the banquettes on the other. It’s not quite al fresco weather yet but it’s worth going to have a look at the terrace just to see Regent Street from above.
New Executive Chef Anthony Garlando and Head Chef Ken Miyaka have created a new menu to go with the new interiors, and let us tell you, they’re just as ‘gram worthy.
You can’t go to a restaurant that has a sushi counter and not partake, and Aqua Kyoto has plenty of options on this front. There are sushi and sashimi platters if you’d rather let the chefs choose, otherwise we can defo recommend the tuna and spicy tobiko rolls with avocado and chilli mayo, and the lobster tempura rolls with jalapeno and this insane lobster miso topping.
Similarly, you won’t want to miss the wagyu. The F1 wagyu sirloin, which comes with foie gras miso and black garlic teriayki, is as indulgent as it sounds and the buttery meat literally melts in your mouth. If you don’t want to drop a load of dollar on a steak, the wagyu gyoza are also great. For more buttery, miso-y, meaty goodness, follow that with the slow-cooked miso and garlic pork belly, which comes with shiso and green apple garnishes to cut through the richness.
You’ll need something to balance out all that protein, like a big bowl of carbs. Seriously though, the king crab soba, with its topping of dancing bonito flakes, is one of those dishes that you have to think about after the first bite to work out the flavours (it’s a bit fishy, a bit gingery, a bit citrusy) and then suddenly it’s almost all gone because you realise you really like it. If you do actually want/need something green, the wild seaweed and sea vegetable salad with black sesame is a great addition.
As slick as the service and as fantastic as the food is at Aqua Kyoto, there’s no denying that it comes at a cost – it’s one to save for when the parents are in town (and paying) or to whack on the company card. The set menu however – £29 for miso soup, maki, starter, main dish and dessert, with options to make it even cheaper – is a bloody bargain, so you can eat here even when it’s not payday.
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll St), London W1B 3BR