Last year I told you all about my favourite bottomless brunch in London. Aqua Kyoto just get everything right; great food, fantastic drinks (and plenty of them) at a great value price. The restaurant is always coming up with new and fresh ideas whilst maintaining the consistent high standard that you’d expect from such a top London restaurant.
The latest weekend brunch is inspired by the 17th Century Japanese cultural movement, ‘Ukiyo.’ Also know as the ‘Floating World,’ when the middle class took part in much more indulgent entertainment and pleasure seeking activities. The menu at Aqua Kyoto gives you the choice of indulging, staying pure or just going wild and choosing both! With the options presented on a pretty fan shaped menu, there’s set starters and nibbles before choosing from the ‘Indulgence’ or the ‘Purity’ menu.
Always a good drinking partner, I enlisted my bestie to come along and try the brunch with me. There’s a few options for drinks; bottomless bubbles and bellinis (£49) or the signature bottomless Veuve Clicquot (£65 which I’d 100% recommend as they’re very generous with it!) or if neither of these are your tipple you can just have the food and order drinks separately (£36).
All guests6 receive edamame beans, rice crackers and miso soup to whet their appetite for what’s to come.
The highlight of the starters is the sushi (I’m sure there are no surprises there!), elegantly presented in a bespoke wooden box. There are classics such as prawn, tuna and salmon nigiri as well as more innovative options from the creative mind of micro-biologist chef, Paul Greening. Rather than using seaweed, Paul has been known to create his own sushi paper out of pressed fruit. If you want to take the starters to the next level, a sashimi platter can be added for a supplement. Expect the finest salmon, tuna and yellow tail on ice – the sashimi here is always top notch!
At this point it’s time to make you choices; each guest has two choices either from the six indulgence dishes or the five healthy alternative purity dishes. As we were sharing everything, we didn’t hesitate in ordering two from each side of the menu.
On the purity menu both of us were immediately drawn to the tuna taco so this was a must order. Fabulously fresh tuna on rice served in a crunchy shell with yuzu, wasabi, avocado and herbs.
The healthy option vegetable gyoza were perfect little packages with the crisp char on the outside, served with a wasabi sauce.
On the indulgence side of things, I absolutely loved the rock shrimp tempura with chilli, garlic sauce. I’ve had this many times and it never fails to deliver – quality can sometimes be an issue for weekend set brunches but this is never the case with Aqua, every dish maintains the usual standard and it never feels like the kitchen are just trying to churn out the orders.
While we enjoyed the aubergine kar-age with coriander miso, smashed ohba and furikake it would probably the only dish which I wouldn’t necessarily order again as it wasn’t quite so full of flavour as the other options. Also on the menu were Japanese pancakes, chicken wings, yakisoba and seaweed salad among other things – something for everyone really and plenty of vegetarian options.
Whether your feeling saintly or sinful, desserts are a must at the Ukiyo Brunch. The Japanese waffles shaped as a fish is not only delicious but it’s super cute too, it’s filled with your flavour choice of custard and served with a mini ice cream.
I never used to like mochi but now I’m obsessed and always order it at a Japanese meal. The rice cakes filled with ice cream are served on a skewer like a yakitori stick and are light and delicate but a very satisfying sweet treat.
Once again I’m absolutely raving about this brunch… it’s priced £65 for botttomless Veuve Clicquot which when you think about it is pretty amazing as you’d pay more than that for one bottle, let alone bottomless glasses and all that food!
240 Regent Street
020 7478 0540
We were guests of Aqua Kyoto