By Hà Nguyễn & Hồ Hoàng
PLENTIFUL: A sashimi boat, full of fresh fish imported from Norway and Japan, is enough for 12 people. Photos Hồ Hoàng
I’ve tried Japanese cuisine at several restaurants in Hà Nội, but dishes at Akataiyo Restaurant, located near West Lake, are my favourite.
We were recently invited to the restaurant. Despite the hot weather outside, we immediately felt comfortable and cool when entering the restaurant which looks over the lake. We were also impressed with the decor and Japanese paintings hanging on the glass walls around us.
Restaurant manager Đỗ Kiên and head chef Lý Hoài Vũ greeted us, saying the restaurant is popular because of its fresh ingredients.
A friend of mine has told me that dishes here are of a very high quality, particularly the sashimi.
“My friends and I often have lunch here,” he said.
While we were discussing how Japanese dishes are loved by locals, two pretty girls in traditional áo dài (long dress) brought us a colourful sashimi boat (VNĐ4 million) containing five kinds of fresh sea food imported from Norway and Japan. They include tuna, squid, octopus, musao fish (special fish from Japan) and of course salmon.
NUTRITIOUS: A fresh salad of colourful vegetables is not only delicious but healthy too.
Kiên told us to dig in, but we hesitated a moment while appreciating the exquisite presentation.
A young photographer seated next to me was keen to take a photo. Finally after snapping the array of fish we piled in, all trying to pick up a piece. I tried the tuna first because I’ve heard it is good for one’s health.
All of the pieces of fish were so fresh and tasty we were sure we could finish it all.
Kiên told us there were still many dishes to come. They included mixed sushi (VNĐ120,000), grilled pacific saury (VNĐ100,000), stir-fried pork with ginger (VNĐ95,000), barbecued beef (VNĐ130,000), grilled eel (VNĐ280,000), stir-fried seafood and vegetables (VNĐ100,000), hot yellow noodles (VNĐ120,000) and several others.
The photographer said he almost didn’t have time to enjoy the dishes because they were decorated so beautifully he wanted to take photos.
Meanwhile, Kiên and Vũ asked us to try more of the dishes. “We would like to hear your remarks on the food so we can improve it,” they said.
Although I was watching my weight, I was determined to try everything. The grilled pacific saury was a bit bitter but fragrant with a buttery taste, the stir-fried pork with ginger was tasty while the grilled eel was so excellent that I asked Kiên for more.
BOWL OF GOODNESS: Akataiyo's hotpot is full of fresh flavours.
I was already full when the hotpot arrived but Vũ insisted I try a bit. The yellow noodles were soft and fragrant with aromatic soya sauce.
I admitted that I had never enjoyed such a delicious dish, so I couldn’t resist having two small bowls.
The photographer finally stopped snapping pictures to start eating.
He said he was addicted to sashimi and cold ramen with vegetables (VNĐ120,000). “I enjoy these dishes because they are not only tasty but also great for the hot weather.”
At the end of the meal we thanked Kiên and Vũ, saying we were sure to return.
I also agreed with the photographer that if you want to enjoy fresh Japanese dishes such as sashimi and sushi while looking over the beautiful landscape of West Lake, Akataiyo comes highly recommended. VNS
Akataiyo Restaurant in Hà Nội
- Hà Nội : Somerset West Lake, 254Đ Thụy Khuê Str, Tel 0997 333 833
- Hải Phòng: 294 Văn Cao Str, Tel 0997 555 855
- Đà Nẵng: 54 Nguyễn Du Str, Tel 0997 888 339
- Bình Dương: 134/2A 30 Tháng 4 Str, Thủ Dầu Một City, Tel 0906 791 938
Comments: Not only delicious dishes at affordable prices but also one of the most beautiful views of West Lake.