Review of Akira in Kingston, Ontario
A Mixed Bag
Akira has been around since 2009. They have had mostly positive reviews so I wanted to see for myself how their food was. On the outside, their establishment doesn't look like much, but their interior is very earthy and relaxing.
My friend and I ordered the Love Boat, especially made for two people that comes with assorted sushi and sashimi. We were first served green salad and miso soup. Both were very yummy. The main consisted of nigiri, uramaki rolls and fresh salmon and tuna sashimi. The uramaki and sashimi were all right, but weren't spectacular. The stand-out of the combo was the shrimp and salmon nigiri.
The other aspects of the restaurant were pretty good. The service, although not as helpful as hoped, was friendly, quick and efficient. Their washroom was pleasant, clean and well stocked. I was super pleased that they did very well on their last health inspection. They got a clean report!
Overall, I was expecting better from Akira based on the many favourable reviews, but I was a bit disappointed. A few things were good—the salad, miso soup and their nigiri were excellent—but the rest was just average. I do recommend Akira as they may have other better dishes in addition to their flavourful appetizer and nigiri.
A Bit of History
Akira has been open at least since 2009. Although located in an obscure part of town on Aberfoyle Road, they have become very popular, earning a top-five position in the best sushi restaurant category in Kingston according to Tripadvisor.
The exterior of Akira is not very special. The windows are mostly covered with curtains so you can't see what's inside. So I had no expectation as to what the interior would be like. I was quite pleased when I entered their dining room.
I was welcomed with earthy tones: brown, tan, and chocolate. The walls are a creamy white, bordered above with light brown, thick wooden trim. There are some modern paintings adorning the walls and Asian art pieces scattered throughout. Spotlights and pendant lights illuminate the space. Half of the interior is lit by natural sunlight, coming in from the large windows.
The tables are a light brown that pairs well with darker chocolate chairs. There are booth seating along all the windows. They provide some coziness and privacy. The place setting is very casual: chopsticks wrapped in paper napkins.
I found the dining area very relaxed and comfortable.
My friend and I visited Akira in October 2019 as it was very convenient and close to where I live. I suggested this sushi place based on the many favourable reviews online.
We decided to order a special combo of assorted sushi, sashimi, and rolls, specifically made for two people called the Love Boat for $45.
We were served green salad and miso soup before our main arrived.
Salad and Miso Soup
The salad consisted of lettuce and topped with carrots and other veggies, drizzled with a tangy dressing. It was very refreshing and the dressing was light and perfect.
The miso soup, made with soybean paste, was very warm, and comforting. The meal started out on a good note.
Our main was presented on a wooden boat-shaped vessel. It looked fresh and very appetizing. I was only able to recognize the California rolls. I wasn't sure of the other sushi. There were also salmon and tuna sashimi as well as nigiri, featuring salmon and shrimp.
I enjoyed the nigiri. The salmon and shrimp nigiri were mighty delicious. The uramaki was just all right. I've had better rolls else where. The sashimi was ok as well, but not extraordinary. Overall, everything was just average. To me, the best part of the Love Boat was the nigiri.
We were served by an older woman. Although I didn't confirm it, she might have been part of the family that owns the restaurant. She wasn't as helpful when we asked her what was in the Love Boat. However, she was was very nice during our entire stay. Her service was fast and efficient.
The state of a restaurant's washroom is often an indication of a restaurant's cleanliness and upkeep. I visited Akira's facilities after our meal. It looked very clean, and was well stocked. I was pleased with their washroom.
The local Public Health Unit does routine health inspections of food facilities in Kingston and post their results online. I visited their website and checked how Akira did on their last inspection. They were last inspected in August 2019. I'm happy to report that they didn't have any violations. Way to go, Akira!
© 2020 Simon Lam