AKIRA: Japanese dining experience by Shimizu Akira


The Japanese restaurant, AKIRA, is on the first floor of Japan House London in Kensington. Named after Chef Shimizu Akira, the restaurant presents a Japanese dining experience based on Akira’s ‘trinity of cooking’ principles – food, tableware and presentation.

Shimizu Akira – a Japanese Chef

Akira’s journey to becoming a chef started at the age of 15 when he was inspired by a regional speciality dish of charcoal-grilled chicken in Miyazaki on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. Inspired by famous chefs and largely self-taught, Akira honed his skills with an emphasis on chicken dishes.

In 2002, Akira joined the Salt Group and went on to open their first restaurant outside of Japan at the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, in February 2015. That same year, Akira relocated to London, opening PEN YEN under the Soho House Group. Recent endeavours include a popup ramen noodle bar as part of the exhibition of the sets from Wes Anderson’s film ‘Isle of Dogs’ and notable UK engagements such as a one-off luncheon with the Japanese Ambassador and VIP guests at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence.

Executive Chef AKIRA

Shimizu Akira is the Executive Chef and Director of AKIRA at Japan House London.

Akira robatayaki and sushi restaurant

An adventurous undertaking, Japan House London’s first floor welcomes guests to a new restaurant bearing the name of Japanese chef Akira. Offering an immersive encounter with Japan’s food culture based on Akira’s trinity of cooking principles: food, tableware, and presentation, guests are offered a variety of unique charcoal-grilled dishes and sushi from a menu created by Akira himself.

“Akira will be an innovative Japanese restaurant like no other ever-before-seen in London”

says Shimizu Akira

Experience Japanesestyle omotenashi hospitality and the theatre of cooking as chefs prepare dishes using seasonal ingredients reflecting Japan’s surprisingly diverse food offer. Highlights of the menu include imaginative sushi and chargrilled kushiyaki skewers.

Special dishes for London

Akira moved from London to Tokyo in summer 2017 and has been working on a range of dishes especially for London. These include for example Chicken, wasabi & cheese kushiyaki skewer with soy sauce glaze, a Sea urchin with salmon and tuna egg crepe roll with truffle cream sauce or Botan prawn with ponzu jelly.

Akira has also created a range of desserts featuring matcha green tea, including Akira tiramisu and matcha chocolate fondant.

Some of Akira’s most popular dishes from his restaurant in Tokyo’s hip Naka-Meguro district will also make it onto his London menu.

Tableware and presentation like never seen before

The dining experience will be complemented by serving dishes Akira has designed and created in collaboration with artisans across Japan and drinks in fine Japanese glassware. Guests will also be able to enjoy original cocktails made using Japanese ingredients including rare sake, yuzu and shiso.

Restaurant design by Katayama Masamichi, Principal of Wonderwall

In the restaurant, the Japan House London interior designer, Katayama Masamichi has incorporated his interpretation of a specifically Japanese sense of place and home – the concept of the doma. The doma is a space that sits between indoors and outdoors in a Japanese house and has various purposes. Part kitchen, it is also a social space where family, friends and neighbours gather together.

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