Thank you to the Food Critics and Bloggers Australia (FCBA) for the invite!
Inside Chatswood’s new dining precinct The District, lies Akira Sushi. It’s a little tricky to find the entrance the first time round – and then you realise how easy it actually is! (I’ve added some directions at the end of the post just in case others face the same challenge).
Akira is a small yet open restaurant with a pretty extensive Japanese menu. From what I tried, it was clear Akira take their fresh produce seriously. They typically don’t complicate their cuisine unnecessarily, allowing key ingredients to really do the talking.
Despite switching out the typical chicken for octopus, Akira absolutely nailed their karaage dish. The light batter held a great crunch and the octopus was cooked beautifully. Both kewpie mayo and a secret dipping sauce accompany the karaage. Kewpie is always a great contrast thanks to its creaminess. The dipping sauce had a slight yuzu or ponzu taste to it, which paired nicely with the octopus’ saltiness.
Akira serves some beautifully fresh oysters! But, we need to talk about the truffle. Even though I love truffle, I found the combination with oyster a little weird and perhaps unnecessary. It detracted from the oysters’ freshness too much. I’d prefer a Japanese-style dressing instead. If you feel the same I’m sure Akira would accommodate.
I love the classic combination of vegetable and prawn tempura, and I’ve fallen for Akira’s.
Each piece was super crunchy, yet very light. Both the prawn and vegetables were cooked perfectly, and I easily noticed how fresh the prawn was as I ate. Everything paired well with the slightly sweet dipping sauce. This is a must order dish!
Another must order dish is the sashimi. I managed to try the snapper, octopus and tuna and they were all exceptional. The tuna was my favourite. It had a deep, full flavour and its texture was so soft it melted away. The octopus was surprisingly second best for me. I usually find octopus sashimi a little on the tough and rubbery side but this sashimi was soft and a joy to eat!
Initially striking me as a Japanese parmi, I fell in love with the crunch of the katsu and juicy chicken within. Combining that with a creamy yet slightly tart sauce made for a great dish to pair a few beers with.
This soup is massive, making it fantastic for sharing amongst a group. The amount and variety of seafood in the soup is great as well, providing some tasty saltiness to the broth.
Akira Sushi have entered Chatswood’s Japanese cuisine scene with quiet modesty, but it won’t be long before locals and the rest of Sydney catch on. Top picks can be found in the sashimi and tempura dishes, and practically anything seafood related will satisfy thanks to Akira’s focus on fresh, top quality seafood.
Written by Lachlan Munnings (@mister_eats)
If you’re coming from the station, once you pass the ticket barriers, turn left and then left again. Go up two sets of back-to-back escalators and go through two large automatic doors. You’re now in The District and Akira is toward the back.
Best to park on Railway Street or Victoria Avenue and walk toward the station escalators. Instead of going down (to the station), take the escalator to the right and head up. You’ll find two large automatic doors. Walk through them. You’re now in The District and Akira is toward the back.