Restaurant Review: Aqua Kyoto, Argyll Street, London


I haven't written a restaurant review for a while, which is poor of me, considering I've been eating well in this great city of ours (thanks to Hix, Tramshed, Kiku and Hawksmoor),  but I keep forgetting to take pictures and they help me remember the flavours.  It was our wedding anniversary (of seventeen years I'll have you know!) and to mark the occasion I'd booked us into lunch at a newish restaurant, one that I'd not heard of before; and after I read some reviews (not all very complimentary) I had my doubts.  Well... Aqua Kyoto proved to be far better than I thought it was. Food was well cooked, well prepared and - in places - innovative. We started sharing a plate of wagyu beef gyoza which were delicious (pictured above) with the brown miso paste adding a supportive sweetness to the fatty flesh.

I went for the chef's sushi platter which was of a good standard, with the salmon being delicious and  the roe and mackerel being outstanding.

10 piece sushi set from Aqua Kyoto

Miko went for a Chicken Teriyaki Bento box, which was an ample selection with decent enough prawn and samphire tempura, a egg coddled miso soup, a tomato salad and a selection of fresh sashimi. The Chicken was excellent: moist and smoky from the grill with a surprisingly tasty twist on the teriyaki standard.

Chicken teriyaki bento box from Aqua Kyoto

Service was fine and for a Saturday lunchtime we were almost alone in the whole huge restaurant, with only a couple of other tables occupied. The space (on the fifth floor of the old Dickens and Jones building) also has a roof top terrace where a handful of people were enjoying the last throws of this ridiculous indian summer. I expect that, in the evening this place is heaving with the well to do and well turned out people listening to the worst of whatever people in Made In Chelsea listen to when they go out, but for a celebratory and intimate lunch it was a great space. If I was to criticise any part of it, some of the eating utensils did look a little tired with some of the chopsticks and other wooden implements looking frayed; but the culinary expertise did make up for that.

The meal for 2 including one very nice cocktail and water and green (sencha) tea came to just over £80 (which included a 12.5% service charge).