Tucked away in the bustling streets of Bandra is Japan’s newest fun dining establishment, Akina. The restaurant, with its bold approach to modern Japanese cuisine, aims to instill a sense of excitement and wonder in its customers with an innovative dining experience. Launched by Silver Beach Hospitality, Akina is a sensory haven, blurring the lines between traditional and modern cooking techniques with a flair for theatre. The restaurant, which spans 5,000 square feet, borrows its design sensibilities from the eponymous Japanese flower.
“We’ve taken their Japanese culture, knowledge and traditions and fused them with Western ingredients and techniques, creating a whole new echelon of dining experiences,” says Hitesh Keswani, Founder and Director of Silver Beach Entertainment and Hospitality.
Akina’s main space, which seats 85 guests, encompasses a beautiful maximalist aesthetic. This extends to the rest of the establishment, which pays close attention to detail. A significant portion of the crockery and tableware is handcrafted by native artisans and imported from Japan. Dubai-based F&B entrepreneur Ryan SNR, who partnered with Hitesh Keswani, also wanted to support the local Indian artisan community. The end result is a selection of beautiful handmade items from both countries, highlighted by intricate design sensibilities that complement the restaurant’s emphasis on understated opulence.
There is also the Akina Privé lounge, designed as an oasis of warmth, mystery and magic that can accommodate fewer people, around 30 to 35. The discerning guest’s delight is a disconnect from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai wrapped in velvet and lush suedes for a more intimate gathering. . Under the lucid wave-patterned canopy, you can relax and settle into your evening, indulging in a selection of contemporary Japanese tapas and small bites or perch elegantly at the impressive cocktail bar. Stay tuned for their next rooftop space as part of Akina’s phase two plans.
The Japanese paradise
Akina’s menu was curated by Hitesh and Ryan SNR, but led by head chef Jesse Blake, renowned for his successful kitchens in Perth, Australia. Jesse brought his respect for the products, his creativity, his passion and his dedication to Akina, drawing inspiration from his travels through Asia. He has used his knowledge of Japanese cuisine and open-fire cooking to combine innovation and tradition for a menu that features favorite dishes and a few specially prepared surprises.
My favorite was the Warayaki Seared Tuna. Warayaki is an old style of Japanese cooking technique that uses fires in the range of 800 to 900 degrees Celsius. The resulting food, seared by intense heat, retains its delicious succulence while exulting in a delicate smoky flavor. Another favorite is the pork and cabbage gyoza. The crispy outer layer combined with the delicious stuffing will definitely make you feel warm and happy. Also be sure to try the avocado and wasabi tempura roll which has an unexpected surprise, the baked potato with truffles, yuzu cream and smoked garlic and if you’re not not stuffed, make sure you have the king prawns with steamed buns.
And when you’re not getting lost in Akina’s wonderful variety, sip one of the restaurant’s signature drinks, part of a drinks program curated by Ryan SNR that emphasizes local and seasonal ingredients. . Akina’s delicious meals will leave you feeling satisfied.
“If you are someone looking for a transcendent dining experience, then Akina is for you,” says Hitesh. “It’s a place to indulge in exquisite food and drink and connect with the community while having a great time.”
Akina will be operational seven days a week for dinner service (for a few weeks after opening) from 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and is now open for lunch on weekends from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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