Like a tranquil island of booze-laced bliss in the chaos of Central London, Aqua Kyoto 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 mirrored interior of the Japanese restaurant inside.
Set in a Portland stone building accessible from Argyll Street, the Aqua complex is home to a cocktail bar, Aqua Spirit, and two restaurants, Aqua Nueva and Aqua Kyoto. The latter is in the hands of executive head chef Anthony Garlando, whose CV includes Zuma, Sketch, and all 18 restaurants at Harrods… so essentially, the ideal training ground for perfecting high-end, deliciously luxurious Japanese food.
At Aqua Kyoto 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 salt), while the larger offerings encompass fish and skewered meat scorched on the robata charcoal grill, and blowout dishes of sansho peppered duck breast, king crab with house-made noodles, and slow-cooked miso and garlic pork belly.
Then come the platters from the sushi and seafood bar, dishing out Scottish salmon and Orkney scallop with smoked daikon and beetroot caviar; mackerel and giant shrimp nigiri; and grilled eel with sweet potato. But if the choice is a little too overwhelming, Anthony’s even put together an omakase menu of his signature dishes, leaving you to sit back and enjoy the plush surroundings and fine libations. And if you really want to push the boat out, weekends are the domain of Aqua Kyoto’s famous infinity brunch – with a generous three-course dining menu and unlimited wine, beer, cocktails or Champagne (starting at £45).
Speaking of cocktails… you can sip them at your table, at the theatrical circular bar upstairs 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 for weekday lunch, weekend brunch and dinner every night (as is the cocktail bar). You can find out more, and book a table, HERE.
Aqua Kyoto | 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, (entrance on 30 Argyll Street), W1B 3BR
Like bars with a view? Check out your ultimate London rooftop bar guide