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|Address:||Fifth Floor, 240 Regent Street (entrance 30 Argyll Street), London W1B 3BR|
|Tel:||020 3589 3945|
|Price: £55.00||Wine: £22.50||Champagne: £72.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 5.30-10.30pm (Thurs-Sat -11pm) Sun 12N-4pm|
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Should you have any scepticism of Nobu-esque newcomer Aqua Kyoto from reading the more printed reviewers I would advise you to leave it , along with your coat (and matching earmuffs during the current clime) with the obliging staff at the door. One is never quite sure what you are going to get when you take an elevator that only stops at one floor but in this case a very pleasant surprise, and the aforementioned army of wafer thin attendants who whisked way the Christmas shopping and the outer garments from myself and Mrs J. Straight through into the bar area which was packed without being really heaving, and seemed to strike the balance between ‘bar’ and ‘bar for a restaurant’. Atmosphere was not in short supply, but our drinks almost were when the discerning bar staff insisted on remaking one of the fabulous cockatils from a very pro-japanese ingredient list, due to the wrong cuvee of vodka. No doubt there is always a danger that a dining experience can always been enhanced when you are seated at , what you might consider, a great table, but if the food wasn't up to par, no panormaic view of the restaurant was going to satiate this appetite. Plenty of familiarity on the menu, and whilst it always tempting to revisit the stock favourites (eg beef tataki, which was tender and delicately spicy from the chilli ponzu) that are found in a Japanese restautant of this ilk, branching out was required. The braised octopus with taro and pumpkin was such a dish that rewards what might be consider a brave choice, and equally impressive was the Yellowtail collar, which needed better chopstick skills than mine to tackle, but was no less rewarding for it. Other highlights were the Rocket and King crab salad, it's easy an shot to plead for a better crab / salad ratio but no matter. Some more obvious fare included a good range of sushi / sashimi including the chu-toro (mid-fatty tuna), a new and most welcome expeience to this palate and a sensational kani tempura maki (crab tempura roll). As pleasing as the main menu is the short card of deserts, from which the espresso creme brulee just about gets away with being in the company of green tea tirimusu and the more esoteric flavours of ice cream. In the round Aqua Kyoto delivered; the table service was efficient and pleasing and not over attentive, no raised eyebrows at the request for a carafe of London Tap (Nobu et al take note) and the food was well executed and full of quality of flavour. It won't be the Wife and I's favourite Japanese in town, that plinth is reserved for Dinings or Zuma depending on which day of the week it is, but a solid bronze medal is deserved which is kind of ironic really because in a way that's a British gold.