Akira “I’ll be” Back

My recent experiences with celebrity chef led restaurants that have been parachuted into cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Dubai etc have been usually terrible. These so called “ signature” restaurants are just money spinning scams that lure those less fortunate to not have eaten at their original locations, poor innocent customers just set fire to their money for a really mediocre meal not worthy of the name … Somewhat like the Karim’s franchise business… outside of its Jama Masjid location the food at other satellite outlets is quite frankly crap. Coming to my point being a lover of Japanese food I could not miss out on the chance to dine at Akira Back’s New Delhi outlet, Akira Back happens to be the man behind Yellowtail at the Bellagio in Las Vegas… Choosing a special occasion i.e. fathers day and a special menu i.e. the chef’s table menu… The Hulk took take a leap into the unknown hoping and praying silently, He  wouldn’t be let down…

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So let me break my meal down for you guys…

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So we began with one of Akira Backs signature dishes the Tuna Pizza… For those less initiated it was not like a pizza you have had at your local Italian joint but made of perfectly cut slices of Tuna over a crispy tortilla and a aioli drizzled with truffle oil… To be honest the thought of a dish like this on paper made me expect a train wreck, boy was I in for a shock… The “pizza” was a perfect mélange of flavour and every ingredient seemed like it belonged there. Despite the use of a pungent seasoning like truffle oil, one never felt that any one ingredient was overpowering the other… Along with the “pizza” there was a portion for crispy rice tuna, but I didn’t pay too much attention to is since I was lost in the pizza that  had just blown my mind…

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Up next a Japanese essential a sea food miso soup… Again a miso soup simple and easy to do so no real expectations… the verdict on this was clean simple and efficiently executed… My only complaint against the soup was that since it was presented in an eating style versus the more traditional sipping style, I would have really appreciated more chunks of sea food.

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Next up the Robotayaki. For the uninitiated robotayaki is Japanese styled grilled meats / veggies( Tikka/ kebabs if you still can’t get what grilled is)… What we got was the gold old fashion chicken teriyaki which was perfectly cooked and those tender morsels of chicken smothered in Teriyaki sauce were just perfect… sadly the Lamb Tskune was a bit of a letdown… Sadly its taste and texture of the meat made me feel like I was eating a seekh kebab and that too not a really good one… My expectations were high after the opening performance and this was perhaps the only thing on the menu I didn’t take a fancy to or it wasn’t what I expected it to be… Perhaps pork belly would have been a better option…

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Up next were the sushi rolls… no Japanese meal for in can ever be complete till the big fat sushi roll hits the plate…

In the words of Mortal Kombat the Dragon roll and the Happa roll can only be described as a “Flawless Victory” executed down to the T… What I didn’t expect was for my meal to get any better and boy was I in for a real surprise…

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The second to last course of this meal was probably the best: First up was a dish made famous by the legendary Nobu Matsuhisa all over the world. A Fillet Tobanyaki, Tobanyaki in Japanese means to roast on a ceramic plate. Ceramic plates continue to emit heat for a long time after removal from their heat sources, and also have a significant heat radiation effect. These ceramic plates are perfect for roasting ingredients in an even fashion. And perfect they were the fillet of beef was perfectly trimmed cooked in Kalbi Sauce which gave the meat a delicious sweet soy flavor and an amazing tenderness accompanied by some juicy shitake, my personal favorite Enokitake mushrooms and asparagus stems…  in my book a perfect 10…

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The deserts were also great I went for the Chocolava cake with peanut butter dust and vanilla ice cream whilst it sounds simple and boring, was divine and yet not diabetes inducing… A special mention for the amazing what I suspect was in house prepared vanilla ice cream that felt so light and flavor some. One must give extra credit where its due and 99 out of a 100 establishments would have ruined a great Choco lava cake with ice cream out of a box… and this is praise coming from someone who is not very fond of sweet food… the second desert was a coconut panacotta topped with wild berry jam… This again was brilliant whilst I managed to sneak a couple of bites of my co diner they were enough in my book to give it A grade…

The meal was further enhanced by the great service rendered by the staff who ensured that the table always had food… What was perfect after a 6 course meal was the fact that it was put together so perfectly one fell full but not stuffed… Extra marks for the well planned and thought out menu…

The verdict 7.5 / 10… In the words of my generation “ Ill be back”…

PS I am attaching a bill of my dinner to prove that this isnt a paid review / free meal review because the Hulk doesn’t roll like that…

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Click to add a blog post for Akira Back - JW Marriott New Delhi on Zomato

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