Akari

Squaremeal Review of Akari ?

This grand old former pub, all Victorian tiles & imposing gold-painted pillars, is now home to an izakaya – a kind of Japanese tapas bar where food is served to accompany drinks. Given the quality of cooking here, however, eating is a more serious business than that description might suggest. The east-meets-west vibe continues on the extensive menu, where adventurous dishes such as tako su (boiled octopus & okra on plum & shiso-leaf jelly) share space with the likes of ebi fry (deep-fried prawns in breadcrumbs, with tonkatsu & tartare sauces). You’ll also find miso, teriyaki, katsu & gyoza on the list, as well as a sushi & sashimi menu with reasonably priced maki rolls. Drink draught Asahi or Kirin, saké or shochu – or wine from the serviceable list.

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Akari
7

Akari

196 Essex Road ,London N1 8LZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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Patchy service, good food!

by   (4)

Mar 2015

I have eaten here many times over the past 4 years or so and am surprised to see so many scathing reviews on here as its always busy and I think the food is authentic & very tasty. I'd especially recommend the yellowtail carpaccio, Akari steak and squid tempura from the specials, but the cod in miso is also delicious (though the portion size can vary). The sashimi on the whole is excellent quality and I'd recommend the soft-shell crab and Akari rolls too. I do agree that the service can...

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Rosie V.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 6

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Akari

196 Essex Road ,London N1 8LZ

Overall rating: star halfstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty

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by   (1)

May 2012

We had the seaweed salad which we thought was very nice, followed by chirashi which was presented nicely, but we felt the portion was extremely small compared to other Japanese restaurants we have visited in the past. In addition, we ordered a tuna special from the menu. Unfortunately, it was a little overcooked and some parts of the dish was very salty. We wouldn't recommend it. We finished off our meal with the pudding and cheesecake. Neither was really worth mentioning or worth reordering in the...

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dizzy p.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 2
  • Service: 1
  • Atmosphere: 2
  • Value: 1

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Akari

196 Essex Road ,London N1 8LZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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by   (4)

Mar 2012

I have been to Akari several times now and I cannot escape the conclusion that it is overrated however hard I try to give it the benefit of the doubt. On paper, it should be very interesting given it is housed in a listed old pub, has an extensive menu and has both a more casual sushi bar area and tables for traditional dining. Howveer, the service is always sub-standard when I go there with orders regularly mis-delivered or arriving late and having to beg for basic stuff (latest, a jug of tap water...

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Alex V.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 4

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Akari

196 Essex Road ,London N1 8LZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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by   (1)

Mar 2010

Akari oozes comfort, instead of luxury, and this is what is attractive about it. The first time I came to Akari, I was impressed with the quality of the food, and the price.. I have been eating japanese food since a child and was exposed to many different style japanese food can immulate. Overall, Akari is a good restaurant. Don't expect to come in pampered and you are well on your way to good dining experience.

Gia N.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 9

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Akari

196 Essex Road ,London N1 8LZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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by   (3)

Oct 2009

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Akari is quickly becoming my favourite ‘local Japanese’. I've done lots of travelling in Japan, and definately hanker after the food. Akari serves it very authentically, it tastes just as it does in Japan, it's not diluted to English taste. The place is always full of Japanese people (that's a good sign), but it can be difficult getting a table at times, so do call ahead and book. There's a mini sushi bar you can sit at where the sushi master preps it all in front of you, or you can sit in the main...

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London Foodie's rating

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  • Food & Drink: 10
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 7

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Akari

196 Essex Road ,London N1 8LZ

Overall rating: star halfstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty

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by   (1)

Jun 2009

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Worst experience of a Japanese restaurant ever in London. Waited over an hour for our food and watched other tables that came in after us eat and then leave. The staff were defensive and rude and could not care less about customer service. We decided to get our food to take away and even then they got the order wrong! We love sushi but we would never recommend this restaurant to anyone. Even when we requested a discount the Manager said we could come back the following week and get one sushi roll...

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Vanessa L.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 1
  • Service: 1
  • Atmosphere: 1
  • Value: 1

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Akari

196 Essex Road ,London N1 8LZ

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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by   bronze reviewer (7)

Jan 2009

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The reastaurant is used to be a pub and the owners preserved most of the enterior. Food choice is quite good with focus on sushi and grilled dishes. I would also recommend Tempura Udon, which tastes very authentic (unlike in most high-street “Japanese” eateries). There is a small but nice choice of shochu (traditional Japanese spirit made of wheat, barley, buckweat or sweet potato, usually served on the rocks) and sake selection offers very decent quality wine. Japanese and European beer is on offer...

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Alex A.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 9

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Essential Details for Akari

  • Address: 196 Essex Road, London N1 8LZ
  • Telephone: 020 7226 9943
  • Website:
  • Opening Times: Tues-Fri 5-11pm Sat-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -10.30pm)

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