Thursday, July 3, 2014

Akira Back Jakarta

Akira Back is the current most happening new restaurant in town, centered on mixing flavors of Japanese and Korean cuisine. The restaurant is headed by Chef Akira Back, whose been named as "Best Chef in Las Vegas" for its Yellowtail Japanese restaurant, their presence here is a serious statement of how the F&B industry in Jakarta is rapidly growing.

I have seen numerous Akira's pictures uploaded on instagram, but I was not that keen to try, probably because couple of new places I tried lately turned to be just okay. But when the pretty boy behind claimed on how good the food are and how it is now his favorite restaurant in Jakarta, I have this sudden urge to go there. I mean, who could resist a great food right?

It was Sunday. Hubs and I went for a quick lunch before Transformer movie date. To be save, I have called for reservation one day earlier, but the place turns out to be not too crowded. Perfect. I never like place with too many people. Located on the penthouse level of MD building, we took the lift to the 12th floor and welcomed with a big sign of Akira Back logo at the reception.

The place itself is not as fancy as I thought it would be. Name any one from the three restaurants at Altitude The Plaza, and each of them would still win in terms of ambiance and classier design. The entire room surrounded with glass window. Bright natural light, always a plus. As we entered, we will see bar section on the left and dining room on the right with semi open kitchen at the back. Though it was different with what I had in mind, I like the sense of humbleness. 

The price range is medium up. Some are like major expensive, but quite a few also comes in quite reasonable price.
Cold shared: 120k - 195k except the caviar priced at 2,5 million (shocking!)
Hot shared: 135k - 400k except Ishiyaki priced at 2 million
Sushi rolls: 50k - 125k 
Signature rolls: 130k - 195k
Mains: 195k - 450k 
Off the grill: 490k - 2million

The menu cover mostly Japanese, with also several choices of Western cuisine on the grill sides. Looking through the menu, I could see severals specifically marked AB, short for the chef's name. The marking is the chef's specialties. Our first pick is the one recommended by everyone who uploaded their dining experience at Akira on instagram. Social media is such a huge factor for restaurant's growth nowadays. It's the Tuna pizza (195k), btw. Meant as cold shared, but I honestly don't feel to share it. It was such a perfect starter! It's amazing how they can make it so light, but at the same time, so memorable. Thin crust dough with thin sliced tuna lightly seared and flavored with truffle oil and black pepper. Seriously, if you could only choose one from the entire menu, choose this! You won't regret it.

The hot shared, AB Tacos (155k) looks way bigger in pictures I've seen at blogs and instagram. In real life? They should put petite on the description. The size is meant for one bite. Good call, though, as you can easily got the foodgasm in one bite. The taco shell was crunch and crisp, while the chopped wagyu kalbi was gorgeously seasoned.

We went for one of the signature rolls, Pop Rockin' (165k) which also marked as Chef's specialty. When it was served on the table, I was thinking to my self "Damn, should've not order this one", coz it just looked to standard. Way too "normal looking" to be mentioned as signature rolls, but when we got to taste it, I could see how it becomes their signature. The spicy crab was so fresh, stuffed with asparagus and lemon pop rocks just like those kind of pop rocks candy you had as kid.

The Smoked duck fried rice (90k) was a disappointment. Fyi, it was written on the menu that the fried rice is a side dish, that's explain the small plates and tiny portion. The taste was too bland that we need to add soy sauce and the smoked duck was sliced too small, hardly seen.

As for desserts, they only have five to choose from. All comes at same price, 65k. I ruled out creme brulee and cheesecake, and I definitely won't pay 65k for ice cream, so I was left with Yuzu tart and Chocolate lava cake. I went with the classic lava cake, and yes, they proved me how classic is always better. The chocolate cake is flourless, so it was quite light, the chocolate lava inside was thick, gooey and a bit bitter. Good balance of sweetness. The vanilla ice cream on the side with cookie caramel crunch was delightful and I loved how they put peanut butter powder on top of the cake, surely give an unique taste.

As a foodie, I appreciate food. I don't mind to pay more for something worth spending extra. Akira Back definitely worth the money spent, but at the same time, I can't help to think on how some of the price are overrated. Though, damn, I wouldn't mind taking out another 195k for that tiny awesome pizza. If you are hungry for something creatively different, go book yourself a table at Akira. :)

Happy mid weekday everyone! Be happy coz better days are coming, Saturday and Sunday!

Akira Back 
MD Place 12th floor
Jl. Setiabudi Selatan No. 7
Setiabudi, South Jakarta
Ph. +6221 29040777
Opening hours: 11am - 10pm


Paulus Chandra said...

Hello ci Ivy,

The signature rolls looks really plain indeed, but I could see the filling is pretty generous!

The vanilla ice cream on chocolate lava cake looks pretty small though, anyway nice post and photos as usual ci! :D


Eddy Suryadi said...

Wow, you're always stay up to date! ahha Thanks for this lovely review anyway.

Btw, just realized that, been following you quite long time ago, but i never linked your blog to mine..

I link yours to mine ok ;)

again, nice review,.. Thanks and keep eating! =)

Ivy said...

@Eddy: Thanks Eddy! I just link yours to mine as well. :)

Nice blog you got there!