As I’ve got older I’ve started to prefer spending my birthday with a few close friends. Rather than having a big party and getting horrifically drunk with everyone I’ve ever met, instead I decided would get horrifically drunk with ten of my close friends.
The venue of choice actually turned about to be absolutely ideal. I’ve visited the bar at Aqua on Regent Street several times and I just love the lively vibe there and having drinks on the outdoor terrace in summer. Aqua is actually a complex made up of Aqua Nuevo (tapas), Aqua Kyoto (Japanese) and Aqua Spirit (the bar); of course as sushi is my favourite it was the cuisine of choice for my birthday bash.
The private dining room at Aqua Kyoto actually couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s sort of glass box at the front of the restaurant which meant we could still enjoy the lively atmosphere but had the privacy of our own room. Inside the room was a round table for 10 people which made it was easy for us to talk, share food and generally get drunk together.
I’m someone who loves to stay in touch with people and I still have friends from all my many walks of life but my oldest friends are from school and university. Kelly, Anna, Lauren and Gemma (left to right) have been my friends for many years – I won’t say how many cos that really would be revealing my age – and I’m so glad we’ve all stayed in touch for so long. The girls and their other halves had all come along to join Mr S and I in celebrating me getting another year older.
With there being a group of us, it was easier to dine from the set menu, which was great as I liked the look of everything on it anyway. Champagne was poured for everyone and several beautifully presented platters of sashimi were bought out for us to get started on.
We particularly loved the salmon, tuna and yellow tail, though the jury was out a bit on the prawns but in our group, everything was certainly eaten and enjoyed.
I’ve mentioned before I’m not too keen on spinach and sesame as it has a rather cloying taste but the waiter kindly brought out an alternative to the set menu and we also enjoyed some charred asparagus as our vegetable option.
Outside our glass box, the restaurant was lively and buzzing and we could actually see the sushi chefs preparing the food.
Mr S and I are big fans of the restaurant as it’s a great roof top venue with a view over the city, we also absolutely loved the Aqua in Hong Kong. Here a Japanese and Italian menu is served in the high rise and super glamorous restaurant I highly recommend it if you’re ever there. You can even take a ride on their own junk ship before your meal, which is a great experience, though try not to do it while jet lagged as you might fall asleep as I did!
I mentioned in my Maze Grill post how I’m set to be bridesmaid for my friend Anna. Here’s the lady herself with her fiancé Matt, still the picture of calm with the wedding five months away!
Next out was a big group favourite, tempura shrimp, beautifully crisp and non-greasy.
Followed by black cod and suckling pork, by now the memories are a bit hazy so apologies for lack of descriptions but we were certainly enjoying the food and the restaurant’s buzzy atmosphere.
We loved the sushi selection so much, we went ahead and ordered more, especially as I felt I hadn’t quite got my sushi fix from Sexy Fish the previous night. The wonderful night passed so quickly and soon cake was presented to a very happy and very drunk birthday girl.
Fortunately I had Mr S (ever the knight in shining armour) to make sure I got home safely. He’s much more sensible than I am. I truly felt the effects the next day, but it was a totally wonderful birthday party and Aqua was the perfect venue with great food, atmosphere and the ideal private dining room.
240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street)
0207 478 0540