It can take a lot to stand out from the crowd that is the London culinary scene. While Aqua London, and more specifically Aqua Kyoto, has cemented its reputation over the years as a great destination for both food and drink, there is a constant reinvention and revision of its Japanese menu that just keeps on drawing you back. The latest offering? The Home-Grown Menu from Executive Chef, Paul Greening.
While all of the magic and wonder is presented to you at your table on a plate, the real story behind the new menu is in the kitchen; a couple of Evogro urban farms that house a menagerie of organic exotic plants that give the Japanese menu some of its incredible flavours. This isn’t farming on a large scale; rather the concept is to add these subtle flavours through the smallest of plants. Growing 50% faster than traditional methods, the Evogro urban farms allow Paul and his team to always have a supply of signature flavours at their fingertips, even if demand is high.
On to the dishes. There are both lunch and dinner sittings within specific timeframes and the three-course menu is served with a cocktail for the astonishingly affordable price of £30. The choice of starters unsurprisingly include a choice of fish and sushi, alongside a vegetarian option of Mizuno Miso & Green Chilli Aubergine. With my fish allergy, I opted for the latter and the dish was the most incredible mix of sweet and savoury. The generous portion of aubergine was presented in fried balls with a sprinkling of wasabi salt on the side to give it a kick. For mains, the Hinadori Baby Chicken Marinated in Ginger & Yuzu Koshu was absolutely divine; the meat was extremely tender and the subtle hint of ginger was helped along with a mixture of spices from the home-grown garden. Katie opted for the Teriyaki Salmon which, as well as being huge, smelled absolutely incredible. To finish, I tried both desserts and each one had its own distinct textures and flavours. The trio of sesame cones presented the usual fare of Japanese ice creams (sesame, mandarin and green tea), but it was the Milk Chocolate Soya Cream jelly that stole the show; a beautifully light dish completed with the most exquisite sugar and chocolate artistry.
If you can eat fish, then the rest of the menu can be found here. The Home-Grown Menu is available at Aqua Kyoto during the following times:
Mon – Fri // 12-2.30pm
Mon – Thurs // 5.30-10.30pm
Fri & Sat // 5.30-7pm