Aqua Kyoto

The Travelling Pixie in London

Aqua Kyoto

It’s been a long while since I’ve had any proper going-out meals!  But finally, after three months of staying at home working on my dissertation, it’s done and its time to get out of the cave!  I’ve heard about Aqua Kyoto and other Aqua Restaurants (bespoke restaurants located in London, Hong Kong and Beijing) from family and friends, but have yet to try the one’s located in London.  Finally, in celebration of my friend’s birthday, the 6 of us were able to try it out!

The benefits of having a large party is that we could order a vast array of dishes to share!

Starters:

Scallops Sashimi w/ Truffle: This thinly sliced scallops sashimi is complemented with a refreshing yuzu sauce as well as truffles.  The sashimi itself was very fresh and as one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, I was not disappointed!  A very perfect start to our meal!

Wagyu Beef Tartare: I love beef tartares, and I just couldn’t resist ordering it!  The beef tartare was served on a huge block of ice, which I have to say is really aesthetically pleasing.  The beef tartare itself is not a huge wow-zer but the flakes of white we-have-no-idea-what-is-it decoration on the tartare tasted amazing.  I tasted hints of truffle, but none of us managed to figure out what it is.  I would recommend the wagyu beef tartare to those who just LOVES beef tartare, but otherwise, considering the price, I wouldn’t say it’s a must-try dish.

Wagyu Gyoza: We ordered the wagyu gyoza out of curiosity, and with each portion only containing 3 pieces, we ordered two portions – one piece for each of us.  Despite the interesting shape of the gyoza, I would say it was not as amazing as it looks.  The gyoza didn’t come with a sauce, so I ate it without dipping it in any sauce (not even soy sauce).  It tasted a little different from what you would expect of gyoza.  The flavour of the beef was very strong, but it was also a tad too much and ended up overpowering the other flavours (or maybe there aren’t any other flavours for that matter – well apart from the dumpling skin that is).  Personally I wouldn’t recommend the gyoza to others because I guess there would be more flattering starters waiting to be tried.

 

Rolls:

We ordered three different types of rolls, but unfortunately I forgot what one of them are (I’ve actually been looking through the restaurant’s menu over and over again, but still couldn’t identify what roll that is!)

Salmon Roll topped w/ Lobster & Miso Bisque: One of my favourite rolls at this restaurant.  I have to say this really surprised me when I put it in my mouth, as the Lobster & Miso Bisque on top of the roll was waaaaay thicker than I expected!  Well, ‘bisque’ is definitely the right word for it!  It was very savoury, but I feel that the flavour and texture of the bisque still overpowered the salmon roll.  The thick texture of the bisque was actually a bit too much for me,

SoftShell Crab w/ Tobiko & Avocado wrapped with Mango Paper: I didn’t get to try this roll as there wasn’t enough for everybody, but mango and softshell crab rolls never go wrong!

The Other Roll: This roll was quite special with what seems to be pulled crab meat and tobiko on the top.

 

Fish:

Seared Swordfish w/ Teriyaki Sauce:  Again, I couldn’t find this on the menu, but I would say that this is the best dish I’ve had for the night.  The texture of the swordfish was perfect, and complemented with the savoury teriyaki sauce, it was so much more than just swordfish sashimi!  This was the dish that gave me a foodgasm last night!

Scallops Nigiri: The usual scallop nigiri you would get at any Japanese restaurant, but the scallops come in a generous portion and tastes brilliant as expected.

 

The Mains:

Most of the main dishes that we ordered are the restaurants specialty dishes.

Lamb Cutlets (Signature Dish): Albeit a signature dish, I was a bit disappointed in its lack of the wow factor.  Yes, it was cooked to perfection (medium rare), but it was not as good as I expected it to be as one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.

Black Cod w/ Miso (Signature Dish): seared black cod with miso is actually many of the signature dishes of Japanese restaurants.  Flavour-wise I wouldn’t say that it is exceptional (when compared to its other Japanese restaurant counterparts), but it’s a fine dish indeed.

King Crab Soba (Signature Dish): I’ve never been a fan of yaki soba, but this King Crab Soba is unexpectedly good!  There is a generous portion of crab meat, tobiko and kimchi in the dish.  The rich and flavoursome crab meat and tobiko gives the dish a strong and hearty flavour, whereas the slight sourness of the kimchi balances it out.  The portion is quite big as well, definitely enough for two people to share as a main.

Pork & Enoki Mushrooms Skewers: We ordered these because they sounded nice on the menu: kurobuta of pork with oba leaf & enoki mushrooms.  Hmm, who wouldn’t want that!?  It tasted great, but again, lacked the wow factor.

Green Tea Wasabi Yuzu Prawn Tempura: A very fancy name for prawn tempura i’d say!  As we are all aware of, what matters most for tempura is the batter!  I have to say that the batter for Aqua Kyoto’s tempura is very very good!  It’s thin, crispy and doesn’t stick to your mouth like a lot of the poor quality tempura batter out there. If you’re a fan of tempura, I would definitely recommend this dish to you!

 

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Chocolate Fondant w/ Green Tea Ice Cream

Dessert:

Chocolate Fondant w/ Green Tea Ice Cream: Who doesn’t love a hearty chocolate fondant?  But when it’s complemented with green tea ice cream, its simply invincible!  Their Chocolate Fondant has a very thin baked layer, and LOADS of chocolate molten – just the way I love it!  I would definitely recommend this dessert for those who has a second stomach just for desserts, you’ll love it too!

 

Aqua Kyoto

5/F, 240 Regent’s Street, London W1B 3BR

Price: £££

Ambience: 7/10

Yum Factor: 8/10

I have to say that this restaurant is really pricey for the quality of the food, so that’s why I gave it 8/10, would’ve been 9 if it weren’t so expensive!  The tables are placed quite closely together, so I would imagine that the guests sat at the tables in the center of the floor would feel a lack of privacy.  We were sat one of the sofa-tables, and we only had another table on one side of us, so we had plenty of room and privacy to dine.

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