Brunch with girl friends = one of life’s simplest joys. So when the darling friend Zoe suggested we catch up over Aqua Kyoto’s unlimited bubbly brunch, I knew we were going to have a fab time.
I’ve known of Zoe a few years ago through the London blogger network. I loved reading her anecdotal travel posts until she had gone off the blogging radar for a while. We met a couple of months ago and I adore her dearly. She’s now come back with a banging new blog and an incredible attitude towards life. Check out her stuff here.
As you walk in from the entrance on Regent Street, there’s a slight vibe that screams night club more than restaurant. Located on the fifth floor, the restaurant promises a “contemporary Japanese” experience. I love the fact that they have a rooftop terrace because we are, after all, in one of the most ‘grammable cities in the world and it’s nice to see it from a good vantage point.
We started with some chilli edamame which packed a bit of jolly heat. I do have high tolerance for spice so I thought this was slightly on the mild side. Could be different for others!
The miso soup had a slight creaminess to it – well, as creamy as miso soup can go – which I liked. It was pleasant enough and rather comforting.
Living the YOLO and FOMO life, we opted for the bottomless Veuve Clicquot brunch. This option came with complimentary Bloody Mary shots. I don’t think either of us were too keen, but as we said… YOLO!
The sushi platter was probably the highlight for me. Although honestly when I saw the selection I was a bit… disappointed. I’ve seen Aqua Kyoto’s sushi and sashimi brunch platters before from blog reviews and this definitely didn’t look like the wonderful platters from months ago.
Nonetheless, I liked it enough. I definitely loved the cod roll (I wasn’t too sure if it was black cod but it was almost as buttery) and the salmon sashimi.
The tempura surprised me, actually. Tempura is a family favourite and we would eat this in our collective weight. However, when I moved to London, I haven’t found tempura that was quite as good as what I’ve had in Asia.
Aqua Kyoto’s offering had crisp batter and the prawns were of decent size, succulent and naturally sweet. It wasn’t as greasy as some I’ve seen here and they hold shape well. Pretty pleased with this dish.
Hot food came in form of shiitake mushrooms and standard chicken. Honestly, I wasn’t too bothered about this. Flavour was good but there was a bit of dryness.
But we were topped up every so often, so we were happy bunnies.
Dessert was a creme brulee which, frankly, missed the mark for me. I did like the balance of sweetness, but the texture was slightly off.
And away we go
We finished our meal, buzzed with bubbles and giggly as good girls. Not quite wanting to part, we headed down to Berners Tavern to have an early night cap.
It was definitely a good brunch.
Verdict of Aqua Kyoto
Frankly, I thought the brunch menu was slightly uninspired. As I said, I’ve seen bloggers’ reviews of the brunch before and I swear I saw more food… ie soba noodles, better looking sushi and rolls… I dunno. I did enjoy the sushi platter and the tempura but other than that, I think you’ll get your wallet’s worth if you top up enough within the two hours you get your table for.
Service was okay. It wasn’t as busy when we started (we went for a 2pm start) but by the time we finished, the bar was quite packed and post-lunch revellers were getting a bit louder.
Would I go back? I mean Chisou is a stone’s throw away and I still like the rolls there better, but Aqua Kyoto seems like a good place to do group lunches/dinners. So if my friends suggest it, I’m there too.