Home Japanese Japanese: Akari

Japanese: Akari

by Krista

196 Essex Rd
N1 8LZ
Tel: 020 7226 9943

Date of Last Visit: Saturday, April 5

The Victims: Gerry, Ben

The Damage: £30 each?

By Way of Background (Not Really): I am the same age as Victoria Beckham. We are 13 days apart. This frightens me. She seems so super-human. I feel old.

I am closing down my Match.com account. My "Thirty There Dates in My Thirty-Third Year" idea didn't get very far. (I got to three, and then gave up.) And I am just so very tired of "I LIKE UR PROFILE." Oh, for a man who can wield a semicolon AND roast a chicken.

My new neighbo(u)r downstairs sings. A lot. Loudly. And plays the keyboard. 80s style. This is getting very annoying. (I had a neighbor in Chicago who sang opera on Sunday afternoons. Now THAT was lovely.)

I don't have a point. Not really. These are just things that are weighing on my mind as of late. Hmmm. Back to Akari.

The Entrance: I've always wanted to go to Akari. It's a Japanese restaurant located in what appears to be a converted pub. So it's a Japanese bar! But no, it's a restaurant! Well, it's more like a restaurant, but the food is more like bar food.

Deep fried bar food served on limp lettuce. We have deep fried oysters. We also have some edamame. And some sashimi…the yellow tail is very much the best. I get some fried pork cutlet and it's nice. But nothing to write home about. A neighboring table gets a long dish of seared tuna that looks lovely so we order the same. It's gross. (It's the sauce that makes it gross.) I am oh so very disappointed.

The Verdict: Eh.

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slonik April 14, 2008 - 8:18 am

Oh, that’s a shame – I’ve been meaning to try this place for a while.

Foodee April 29, 2008 - 11:32 pm


Well what can I say. I went a couple of weeks ago and as I only discovered this blog today my memory is a bit rusty but tarnished enough to want to post something.

I was with a group of eight friends, half of whom are sushi fans.

I think it’s fair to say we were all disappointed and the evening was only saved by our prior visit to a gallery opening with a well stocked free bar!

I’ve tried many ‘sushi’ bars and restaurants from the basic to the likes of Hakkasan, Zuma and Yauatcha.

The atmosphere was lively and the layout very much as you would expect from a pub conversion. It felt more like a tapas bar.

The staff were ‘authentic’, however it was difficult to get explanations or clarifications of what we were to expect or indeed what the dishes were when they arrived.

There were a few guaranteed staple dishes on the menu but even these disappointed and you could do far better at Itsu or even Yo Sushi!

Some of my more experienced guests were confused by what they got as it seemed to bare little resemblance to their expectations. To be frank some of the dishes looked more like something from ‘Fear Factor’ and we even got to the point of discussing the legitimacy of claimed ‘fresh’.

Portions are small and in my view expensive. You would be better off staying in and having a go yourself. Try going to Steve Hatt, the fabulous fishmonger a short hop down Essex Road, buy some of his ‘sushi class’ tuna, get some basic greens from the local supermarket, make a quick trip to china town for some exotic frozen bits and pieces, and finally stop by that off licence on Old Compton Street that only takes cash but has an amazing selection of spirits etc from round the world.

We did not linger, and back at mine to round off the evening Akari did not get a positive mention and we quickly moved on to discuss the more impressive and memorable ‘art’ at the opening earlier in the evening.

London Chow February 20, 2010 - 2:06 pm

Erm, was just about to head towards Akari until I came up on your post. Hmmm… would probably head towards the trusty Tenshi instead. Thanks!

Krista February 22, 2010 - 10:41 am

Yeah, not a fan of Akari. Have only been once but it wasn't so hot.

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