AQUA Kyoto – Confessions of a Sushi Snob

“My name is Mr. Foodie and I’m a sushi snob and sushi chef groupie.” There I said it. Happy now?!!!

Life is too short for bad food. Life is too short for bad sushi. London has a LOT of bad to mediocre sushi so whilst I’m willing to try new places, I’m quite cautious when it comes to new sushi places. Price, quality, presentation, the uniqueness of the experience and the chef’s skill / passion for what they do all come into factor – as its so hard to find a good balance across all of these. Yes.. I’m a snob…

One chef, who’s creations I’ve been eating over the past few years, almost a few times a month… is one Keita Sato. Recently he joined AQUA Kyoto as sushi chef. On the part of AQUA’a owner that was a brilliant decision.

Q: What happens when you get a talented chef, and give him quality ingredients and a good team to work with.

A: You get outstanding sushi.

I only went to AQUA Kyoto to eat sushi, and specifically to eat Keita-san’s sushi. Nothing else. To be honest he could have been at some other restaurant and I would have gone there, and you’d be reading my musings about that place instead.

My friend went there to eat, and the other chef’s were taking pictures of what Keita-san was making!… so that should tell you something!

This write up is about sushi only. I cannot comment on the other dishes at AQUA Kyoto because I haven’t eaten any of them.. yet.

Lets face it, AQUA is expensive but to be honest I don’t mind paying a little bit more if what I’m getting is really good quality and the experience is different to the run of the mill places.

I ordered a few things:

Fatty Tuna Tartare with Caviar

Fatty Tuna Tartare with Caviar

Fatty Tuna Tartare with Caviar

Fatty Tuna Tartare topped with shiso, caviar and spring onion, with ponzu and some sort of Japanese fruit. This was nice, rich and balanced… and those sweet japanese fruits, that look like lychees but are nothing like lychees in any way were the perfect contrast to the flavour of this dish

On to the nigiri…

Various Nigiri Sushi

Various Nigiri Sushi - Sweet Prawn, King Fish, Wagyu, Squid, King Crab, Foie Gras, Seared Minced Wagyu with Quails Egg

Seared Wagyu Beef topped with Quails Egg

Seared Wagyu Beef topped with Quails Egg

Kingfish, Chilli Mentaiko and Fatty Eel

Kingfish, Chilli Mentaiko and Fatty Eel

Fatty Collar of Tuna (middle), Umeboshi in Honey (right)

Fatty Collar of Tuna (middle), Umeboshi in Honey (right)

I’m not saying much more about the nigiri as the pictures speak for themselves…

Of worthy mention is this special maki roll

Special Maki

Special Maki

I’ve never seen anything like it… nor do I have any idea how he made it..

Whilst I can’t afford to visit AQUA Kyoto, with the same frequency I used to visit Atari-Ya, I feel its nice to save up the visits and treat myself to something special less frequently.

My recommendation is you sit at the sushi counter and order the chef special selection… and let him work his magic.

I will try their other dishes in the future… but for now it’d be a crime not to eat Keita-san’s sushi…

AQUA Kyoto is located at 240 Regent Street, London.

Tel: 020 7478 0540(020)


Aqua Kyoto on Urbanspoon



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4 Responses to AQUA Kyoto – Confessions of a Sushi Snob

  1. Charmaine says:

    Impressive. Having not heard many great things about the food here it’s nice to know the new sushi chef seems to know what he’s doing.

    PS I think the fruits in the first dish might be yangmei, a Chinese fruit. Would be interested to know where they got it from as they’re highly perishable and so don’t transport too well…

    • mrfoodie says:

      hi charmaine… recommend you pay a visit when its quiet… saturday lunch time or early evening… and sit at the sushi counter.. also mention me and he’ll come up with something special for you

  2. Guan says:

    That’s some damn good looking nigri there! – thanks for the recommendation. Will definitely be paying a visit.

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