Introducing a unique series of Chef Akira Back's signature dishes, with reinvented flavours from traditional Japanese offerings, with combining the best of flavors, forms and cultures to passion a new wave of revolutionary Japanese cuisine in the heart of Singapore.
Chef Akira is highly known to craft bold and daring dishes with having playful and creative plating styles. We had the chance to savour some of Chef Akira and his team's new bold culinary offerings in Akira Back which embodies his empirical culinary journey, with each dish having a unique story to tell.
The first dish served was Chef Akira Back's Hirame Carpaccio ($27), which is reinvented from the iconic and traditionally served sashimi on ice that is commonly served alongside the usual combo of wasabi and soy sauce.
Chef Akira has transformed this traditional serving style of sashimi against a robust mix of creative sauces, textures and flavours from the subtly sweet Nanbanzu vinegar, crispy fried shallots, and a hint of heat from the jalapeno peppers.
This appetiser was a crowd favourite as the Hirame went really well with the sweet vinegar without compromising the freshness of the fish, and the use of jalapeno peppers gave a subtle hint of heat towards the end which really brought a myriad of unique flavour profile in our palettes.
Chef Akira and team had crafted an interesting take on fresh imported whole Hokkaido scallops which had an astonishing flavour combination. These scallops were carefully sliced in halves and lightly torched on one side to which give the scallops a nice charred flavour. The scallops are then accompanied with sweet yellow kiwis, savoury saline vegetarian seaweed caviar and finished off with a drizzle of citrus yuzu vinaigrette.
Chef recommends to have a little component of each ingredient to fully enjoy the whole taste profile and flavours, however we found the yuzu vinaigrette a little too overpowering for our liking which tempered the natural flavours of the scallops.
Going back into Chef Akira's native Korean roots is a modern take on the traditional "Yukhoe"(raw meat), ($45). This classic favourite is re-conceptualised with having his vision and childhood flavour palette altered to the modern taste palettes of today.
Tajima wagyu striploin is used as Chef Akira believes the type of meat used is the most vital component of making a Yukhoe. This perfectly balanced ratio of seasoned lean meat-to-fat is accompanied with sweet and crisp nashi (pear), a hint of toasted sesame oil, and fresh creamy quail egg. For someone who doesn't fancy raw meat, I must say the combination of ingredients used in this dish was unusual and surprisingly a palate pleaser.
Agedashi tofu is a common sight to see in most Japanese menu, but Chef Akira and team has re-imagined the classic side dish with a delicate Crispy Tofu ($25). This crispy tofu is deep fried till golden brown, and tossed in a mix of spicy gochujang soy and tangy finger lime juice. The crispy tofu had a chewy texture which resembles eating a mochi and we personally find this dish to be the perfect accompaniment with a glass of chilled Asahi beer.
The second highlight of the menu was the Grilled Alaskan King Crab ($42), smothered with Chef's secret tobiko dynamite sauce, and garnished with pickled shimeji mushroom and jalapeno peppers. This dish delivered an explosion of invigorating flavour from the smoky tobiko-laced sauce, briny shimeji mushroom and earthy jalapenos, of which has clearly elevated the take on traditional Japanese staple.
Meat lover shouldn't miss out on this transformed age-old dish, Saga Gyudon ($42). The main highlight of this dish is of course, the Saga gyu, which is known to be the most high-quality beef in japan with a marbling score of 7 out of 12. With that, pieces of seared buttery foie gras and creamy onsen tamago is served a bed a generous portion of fragrant garlic rice.
Lastly, we ended this culinary revolution with a dainty yet creative Beehive ($18), which is specially crafted by Pastry Chef Koh at Akira Back which was used as her entrance interview. This dessert impressed Chef Akira tremendously and is now a permanent inclusion in the menu.
Beehive is influenced by tropical delights, and is full of textural discovery and inspired by the honey bee. It comprises of crunchy dehydrated meringue, velvety fresh mango disc, smooth and citrusy coconut lime sorbet, and organic bee pollen. In addition to that, the mangoes used are handpicked by Chef Koh herself and each mango used are tested to ensure it holds a fragrant and sweet flavour.
With all that said above, it is time to immerse yourself in an exotic culinary journey at Akira Back and be inspired by diverse food culture, the use of quality ingredients with wild flavours and an insta-worthy "eat with your eyes" presentation to include into your insta-feed.
The attention to detail for each dish alongside the marvelous stories which Chef Akira and team had portrayed, is truly remarkable and has left a very memorable dining experience.