While grill restaurants are often described as smoky, greasy and cacophonous, this place is the opposite.
Weary shoppers must naturally crave tender slices of meat because, despite the sluggish service, AKA is always busy, at times even struggling to cope with the crowds. While grill restaurants are often described as smoky, greasy and cacophonous, AKA is the opposite. The dining room has a high ceiling, a bright and airy feel, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and an open kitchen. AKA is the Japanese word for red, the prevailing color in this contemporary setting. High marks go to the smokeless charcoal grill that does a reasonably good job of keeping the smoke and smell out of your hair.
Upon entering, a waitress will ask you to choose between shabu shabu, (hot pot) or yakiniku, (grilling) as your cooking method. Usually the yakiniku tables are fully booked, with the hot pots standing idly by. So prepare to wait at least 15 minutes if you simply must have a popular charcoal grill. The menu is filled with the usual a la carte grillable items.
For those not in the mood for a DIY meal, there is a wide selection of Japanese appetizers and dishes. The taste? Not bad, but not great either. The takoyaki came warm and crisp, but could have used more filling, while the signature AKA beef salad was crippled by its bland dressing. As is the case in many Japanese grill joints, seafood plays second fiddle to the meat. A plate of mixed seafood with juicy looking scallops, prawns and squid seemed like a good bet, but lacked freshness.
Our suggestion is that you stick to AKA’s melt-in-your-mouth beef options. There are steeply-priced imported choices on offer like Kobe beef sirloin and Wagyu strip loin, but if you’re not on a corporate account, you won’t be disappointed by the Thai-French tenderloin. The best value for money, however, is attained by ordering one the sets. Choices range from pork spare ribs and chicken to Thai-French sirloin and tenderloin.
Dessert is also a high point. Daifuku served with a huge scoop of green tea ice cream is big enough to share, but you won’t want to. There are lots of servers, but quantity doesn’t equal quality. Most of the staff circulating through the dining room appeared unsure of what to do next. During peak hours, you may have to waste 20 minutes before the staff realize there actually is an unoccupied table. On a bad day, it may very well take them another 20 minutes to realize that the kitchen has run out of the beef you ordered.
The verdict? AKA is one of the better places to go for nice cuts of meat after a long day in the shopping mall. But if attentive and fast service is what you seek, it’s better to head elsewhere. Corkage: B200 for spirits, B100 for wines.
|Address:||AKA, 7/F, CentralWorld, Ratchadamri Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Opening hours:||daily 10am-10pm|
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