Aqua Kyoto | Soho Bar & Restaurant
Like a tranquil island of booze-laced bliss in the chaos of Central London, Aqua sits high above Oxford Street ready for you to kick back, order a cocktail, and succumb to a sashimi coma.
And there are far worse places to find yourself incapacitated for the evening than the romantically lit roof terrace, or the moody red and black interior of the Japanese restaurant below.
The latter is in the hands of head chef Paul Greening – who came from a seafaring family in New Zealand, trained as a microbiologist and then as a chef – all of which, in a somewhat roundabout way, have fortuitously combined to produce one of London’s best seafood chefs.
Here he has put together a menu with plates of every size to suit your appetite: smaller numbers range from rice dishes (like the marinated wagyu steak and vegetable rice cooked before your eyes) to bitesize tempura (like fried prawns seasoned with wasabi, green tea and yuzu), while the larger offerings encompass fish and skewered meat scorched on the sumibiyaki charcoal grill, and blowout dishes of truffled tofu, king crab with house-made noodles and suckling pork belly with eel.
Then come the platters from the sushi and sashimi bar which takes pride of place in the centre of the restaurant, dishing out soft shell crab with avocado blanketed in mango leaves, salmon rolls topped with lobster and miso bisque, flying fish roe and jelly-topped dragon rolls. And if the choice is a little too overwhelming, Paul’s even put together an omakase menu of his signature dishes, leaving you to sit back and enjoy the plush surroundings and fine libations.
Which, by the way, can be sipped at your table, at the theatrical circular bar or on the rooftop terrace, where you’ll laugh haughtily at the teeming masses below you and smugly nurse your Secret Ninja with gin, pear liqueur and orgeat, or The Emperor with whiskey, maraschino and Campari.
Ironically, of course…
NOTE: Aqua Kyoto is open from Mon-Sun: 12pm-10.30pm. The terrace serves lunch from 12-3 and drinks after that, but doesn’t take reservations.
Aqua Kyoto | 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, W1B 3BR
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