The Place Located at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, Akira Back is the eponymous celebrity chef’s contemporary Japanese restaurant in South Beach. It is one of the many dining concepts managed by the hotel, which also count the likes of contemporary Cantonese restaurant Madame Fan under its belt. For one, the restaurant’s interior is anything but the traditional Japanese restaurant. There is a communal dining table, a bar and cosy pockets of space designed for added dining privacy. It is conveniently located within the same lift lobby of the Marriott property, which is convenient to access if you are to be staying at the hotel.
The Food The menu is organised into various sections like cold and hot plates, sushi, sashimi, rolls and mains. It is quite an extensive menu and it is not difficult to spot the modern twists in each dish. One starter I highly recommend is the AB Tuna Pizza (S$26) or the AB Mushroom Pizza (S$20). You can also opt for a combo of each flavour, which we did for the best of both worlds. The pizza texture here is very light and crisp. The pizza is also infused with slight hints of truffle oil and umami aioli, which makes the flavour even more aromatic and I would say, addictive.
The other cold starter I tried is the Yellowtail Jalapeño (S$25). The fresh flavour of the fish here is enhanced with the yuzu soy sauce, which makes it a good alternative to the sashimi options.
For sushi rolls, I had the rather long and funnily coined Brother from another Mother (S$25). The inspiration from this half sibling and complicated relationship stems from the fact that there are two types of eel in this roll. You get the unagi kabayaki and anago tempura, topped with shaved foie gras and ponzu mayo. The texture is crunchy from the bits of tempura, though I can’t exactly make out the distinct flavours of the two types of eel. Regardless, the fatty foie gras completes the flavour for me.
For mains, my top recommendation if you can only go for one option is the 48 hours “Sanchoku” Short Rib (S$50). The portions may seem small, with four cubes of beef served on the plate, but the rich flavours make up for it. The beef is very tender and almost requires no effort to slice through, characterised by its well-marbled flavour.
The other mains I had was the Gyudon (S$42), a relatively decent size of Saga Gyu along with foie gras and onsen egg. The foie gras comes in tiny cubes, which makes it hard to spot. I would recommend mixing all the ingredients up together at the same time, and it will transform to a luxe bowl of delicious rice.
For desserts, I had the Sesame Heaven (S$18), a combination of the black sesame cheesecake, cream cake and ice-cream. The overall taste is not too sweet, yet you get the intensity of the black sesame.
Rants The semi private rooms at the far end of the restaurant will get you some privacy, although you might be eavesdropping into your fellow diners conversation unintentionally.
Will I Return Again? The food I had at Akira Back are generally very on point, from the starters all the way to the desserts. Service is professional and competent. This is definitely one of the restaurants to consider if you are in the vicinity, or if you are looking for a modern interpretation of Japanese food.
Make your reservations instantly at Akira Back here.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Sunday to Thursday: 12 to 2:30pm, 6 to 10pm
Friday to Saturday: 12to 2:30pm, 6to 10:30pm
Ranted by The Ranter