CHECK IT OUT: Akira at Alphaland, Malugay Street, Makati
Kenneth Cobonpue sets this branch apart.
G/F Alphaland, Makati Place, Malugay Street corner Ayala Avenue Extension, Makati City
Contact: 808-6224; firstname.lastname@example.org
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) This Akira branch is different. There are four now: one in Shangri-La Plaza, another in Bonifacio Global City, the latest in Robinsons Magnolia, and this-in Alphaland. This isn't to play favorites, but the latter is the only one envisioned by Kenneth Cobonpue.
Akira Alphaland owner Gilbert Go wanted to simulate the feeling of being outside, but he let the world-renowned designer work his magic. Mixed pieces of wood are put together to make tall, bare, geometric trees; orange leaves made of silk hang from the ceiling looking like they're being "blown by the wind." With the vast gray palette including beaten concrete flooring, the entire effect is like a very industrial take on an autumn forest. "This is akin to discovering a magical and secret place known only to you," he says.
Cobonpue was so meticulous that the leaves were restrung and rehung six times. But the aesthetic is complemented by functionality: a bare gray wall that projects photos of Tokyo has found new use in meetings, conferences, and private parties (one such event even led to karaoke). Red versions of his iconic Yoda chairs make sitting by the bar more relaxed, while another type of seating, taupe Bamboo Too chairs, have special Italian leather that's easy to maintain.
The Cobonpue Roll
Salmon, Kani, and Cream Cheese
Cobonpue’s attention to detail matches the Japanese tradition that Akira stands for. The Unagi Kyu Maki (P548), also known as the Cobonpue Roll, is a delicious symbol of that partnership. The crispy eel with cucumber over soft full rice hugging soft shell crab is his favorite, but the neutral hues with the light shock of orange from the roe also represent the restaurant’s interiors.
Foie Gras Chawan
Akira Fried Rice
A little porcelain pot comes with a sliver of surprise: foie gras defines the difference in the Foie Gras Chawan (P348). The subtle, salty flavor from the miso and shrimp custard is lifted by that bite of richness. The Chicken Karaage (P288), sliced into thin sheets and breaded to become almost like crunchy crackers, are still delectably meaty. The saucer of vinegar on the side brightens the rich flavors (and reminds us of chicharon), or you can keep the balance with an order of the tasty Akira Fried Rice (P289).
A4 Japanese Wagyu Teppanyaki in Medium Rare
Salmon Miso Yaki (P318)
Akira nails many Japanese food favorites, but the specialty is teppanyaki. There's only one table in this branch, so you might have to sit quickly if you want a front-row view of the chef working his grilling acrobatics. The A4 Japanese Wagyu (P1,878/100 grams; P4,999/300 grams) is what would have you coming back. Biting a piece is like butter melting: rich, buttery bold flavors burst out from the cubes of medium rare beef that's recommended to maximize the natural profile of the high-quality Wagyu. Have another cup of fried rice.
Purple Cow: Banana, Kiwi, and Berries Shake (P168)
When it comes to the menu, nothing much separates this Akira from the others. But the intricate details courtesy of the legendary Cobonpue truly drive home the brand's goal-the experience of eating sushi and teppanyaki has indeed become an art form.
Akira Alphaland also delivers within the area. For orders, contact 808-6224 or City Delivery at 87878.