Heavily recommended by many sources such as Zomato and Canberra Visitor 2017, Akiba is a hip-looking restaurant with Japanese decor elements that serves Asian-fusion food. It is even the winner of People’s Choice Award 2016 – Australia’s Top Restaurants.
Located near Canberra’s city bus station, Akiba was easily identified with its big red signs outside the restaurant.
Although Pork Belly Bun was very expensive at AUD 8 each, we had to order it to try since it is Akiba’s signature dish. While the slaw and pickles serve quite well as a fusion twist, the Pork Belly Bun was nothing spectacular with the pork being rather tough. If you like lean meat like us, you will appreciate that the pork belly did not have any fat.
Peking Duck Soup Dumplings (AUD 14 for 6 pieces), which Akiba calls the People’s Dumpling Winner, had a unique taste due to the combination of five spices and hoisin sauce. The dumpling skin was delightfully thin but there was no broth in them as found in typical dumplings. Sadly, the dumplings were not memorable because we promptly forgot about them after finishing all.
King Prawn Fried Rice (AUD 21) came in a generous portion and was tasty. It was a pity that they had cut up the king prawns into chunky bits instead of showcasing those big babies on top of the rice, though we were glad to see there were many prawn chunks in there.
Beef Short Rib (AUD 24) came in a small bowl and we thought, “AUD 20 for that small bit of meat?!” We were wrong because it was such a thick slab of tender braised meat with no fat or beef smell. We could hardly finish it. With the tamarind caramel and Thai basil lending the dish a warm balance of taste, this is definitely a must-order.
At the end of day, we would say when you are in Canberra, Akiba is definitely NOT a must-go. Sure, it has a good location, fascinating vibe, interesting menu and friendly staff. If you happen to be in the area, do pop in for a sake, umeshu, shochu, beer, wine, cocktail, whatever. There is no need to make a reservation and specially make your way there.
Now, read on for our best pub food experience in Canberra.
If you are thinking of where to stay in Sydney, read about the perks of staying in Sydney’s CBD.
By: Chocolate & Marshmallow