Have you ever noticed a lot of our fusion restaurants are helmed by Korean chefs? Maybe it's because I'd recently dined at Meta, which is headed up by a Korean chef, just one day after my Smarty-Pants girlfriend andmorefood and I visited Akira Back, also run by another Korean-born. Or maybe it's because the half-Korean, half-Peranakan, full-ACS boy Hubs, can't cook to save his life, and so, any other Korean who can cook immediately bears consideration.
In spite of the shared heritage, Akira Back is strikingly distinct from Meta. A casual but snazzy joint serving tapas-style fusion fare, the ala carte menu is a confluence of modern American dishes using Japanese ingredients, with the occasional Korean slant. Save for the rice rolls, which were outstanding, the rest of the dishes were commendable, if slightly unmemorable.
Dinner was given a boost by our lovely server Rit, who just oozed sweetness and sincerity. Halfway through our dinner, it struck us that she couldn't possibly be local, and it was likely she hadn't been in Singapore for very long. She just seemed so...untainted, by the apathetic affection typically standard of our local service folk. And true enough, the dimpled girl is fresh off the boat, from hospitality school in Switzerland, and had only landed on our shores less than a month prior.
I know many people think it sacrilegious to ground up wagyu, but the adorably dainty AB Tacos ($25) stuffed with juicy minced wagyu and topped with spicy aioli and jalepeno pepper, was extra delicious.
I wasn't a fan of the Pan-Seared Yellowtail ($27) which marked fishiness overwhelmed the subtle bite of the wasabi brussels sprouts, mustard miso, and Japanese pepper powder.
A twist on popcorn chicken, the Rock Shrimp Tempura ($23), lightly battered, flash-fried, and tossed in a spicy-creamy gochujang aioli, was delightfully addictive.
Oh if we brought our husbands, we would have ordered the entire selection of rice rolls. The Holy Cow ($30) was holy crap good. Shrimp tempura was sheathed in seaweed, vinegared sushi rice, then blanketed in an aburi-ed Tajima striploin and finished off with a kimchi peach emulsion for a bit of kick.
The Krakatoa ($30) was a potent combo of sweet king crab and delicate scallops, jazzed up with a robust 'dynamite sauce' and jalapeno. A must-try too.
The 48 Hours Sanchoku Short Ribs ($48) was a melty, dreamy piece of meat. Absolutely exquisite. I don't know why they even gave us a knife, because a fork (even a filmsy plastic one) would have sufficed.
Because dinner with andmorefood isn't complete without dessert, we ordered the AB "Egg" ($20), an avant garde confection that was obviously designed "for the 'gram". Vanilla foam was the egg white, mango passionfruit cream was supposed to be the yolk, jujube ice-cream, and white chocolate beads rounded it all together.
I like to think it was because we were Rit's favourite diners of the night, but she gifted us complimentary cookies which made a great TV snack.
JW Marriot Hotel South Beach
30 Beach Road
Tel: 6818 1888
Open Mondays to Thursdays from 12noon to 3pm for lunch; 6pm to 10pm for dinner;
Fridays to Sundays from 12noon to 3pm for lunch; 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner