Hidden Japanese Gem: The sister resto of Keyaki in Causeway Bay, Akari is about as close as it gets to a veritable Kyoto machiya in Hong Kong.
Look & Feel: The little Japanese joint has a discreet location on St Stephens Lane, a little pedestrian street off of Pokfulam Road. When you enter through the traditional red curtains, you enter into a world that would be right at home in Kyoto. There’s a wooden sushi bar with about six seats and a handful of tiny tables, as well as pretty details like reed blinds and wooden latticework.
On the Menu: The speciality here is sashimi, but you can also order grilled seafood, wagyu, veggies and more. Akari also boasts about 50 bottles of hand-selected sake, and a few cool types of subtly flavored lagers — like Wasabi Beer — imported from Japan.
Service: It’s a tiny spot and yet there are plenty of servers on hand. They will fill up your water, tea, sake and bring each dish out seamlessly, like a well-choreographed dance.
Jeng: The creamy, fatty tuna sashimi ($50 per piece, or $498 for 10 assorted sashimi) is a hit. No-brainer there, but we’re also impressed with the South African grilled whole abalone (market price) — a new experience for us. Our favorite dish of the night, though, are the beautifully charred US spare ribs ($168).
Not So Jeng: The pacing at Akari could be improved — things come out so fast, there is zero time to digest.
Great For: Date nights, clandestine meetings, sad lonely dining.
FYI: Akari is also a little sister to Japanese whisky den Nocturne.
This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.