Chinese and East Asian
240 Regent Street, Soho (entrance on 30 Argyll Street), Central London, W1F 7EB
Found on the fifth floor of one of London's most iconic buildings, the former Dickins & Jones department store off Regent Street, is Aqua Kyoto. Epitomising the Japanese cool of Tokyo's Ginza district, Aqua Kyoto is one part of a unique interconnecting development that also comprises Spanish restaurant Aqua Nueva and Aqua Spirit, one of London's hippest pre and post-dining bars. Under head chef Jordan Sclare, Aqua Kyoto offers the very latest in contemporary Japanese cuisine, presenting styles of sashimi and sushi hitherto unseen in the capital. These are spearheaded by the tataki sushi platter, delicately wrapped in paper-thin cucumber and topped with finely-chopped crab miso, foie gras, spicy tuna, scallop and avocado and fatty tuna. Also on the menu are dishes prepared on a traditional sumibiyaki (charcoal) grill and an equally innovative selection of dishes from the restaurant kitchen - whole grilled lobster with seared foie gras and creamy wasabi, and twice-cooked crispy pork belly with langoustines and yuzu pepper among them. Rounding off this fine-dining experience are desserts such as Aqua Kyoto's signature green tea tiramisu that once again puts an interesting twist on a classic dish. All produce is specially selected for its quality and freshness and comes from sustainable sources. The restaurant also boasts a 140-bin international wine list complete with a fine selection of sake specifically chosen for the restaurant. Complementing this cuisine is Aqua Kyoto's stunning interior design. The focal point is a dramatic sunken sushi bar with breathtaking terrace views visible beyond. The decor is a mix of the contemporary and the traditional, with charcoal - with its Zen symbolism of purification and tranquillity - as a central theme. Charcoal flowers hang from the ceiling, echoing the charcoal-grilled dishes prepared on the sumibiyaki grill, whilst fine Japanese mesh panels painted with traditional Sumi-e designs are another focal point. The impressive Aqua Kyoto has a seating capacity for 112 diners and features a glass-walled private dining room which can accommodate up to ten guests.