Brothers Michael and Peter Harrington (of Sage Dining Rooms and Kokomo’s) are behind Akiba, a modern hawker-style food hall. Neon lights bathe the space in a colourful glow and vibrant light box-mounted photos of Tokyo adorn the walls. Waitstaff zip between diners, arms laden with steamers of dumplings or towers of fried chicken.
Seating is mostly high tables and bar stools, which creates a casual, bar-like atmosphere. Long communal tables run the length of the room, in keeping with the food-hall feel of the space. The raw bar is an entertaining spot to sit, with views of the chefs skilfully slicing sashimi or dressing oysters.
Apart from these raw items, the menu is a well-balanced mix of street food-style snacks and share plates. The easiest way to go is the “Feed Me” option – the chef’s choice of eight dishes. Otherwise, the pork belly bao is a favourite among regulars, as is the Japanese fried chicken served with Kewpie and sriracha.
There’s an extensive sake section, as well as cocktails and “akipops” (juices spiked with booze). Thursday to Saturday nights, this party-ready drinks list really comes into its own, with help from guest DJs and a dancefloor. Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the energetic diner turns into a yum-cha spot.