By Aditi Datta

We’ve said a bit about this new restaurant already, but the food’s so sexy, we’re bringing Akira Back.

In many ways, Japanese is the new Chinese. While we don’t have a Punjabi tadka version of the cuisine {or at least, not yet}, we certainly know our Miso from our Manchow. Like many Western cuisines, Japanese food asks for permission before making an impact, yet retains a flavour profile that is delicately Eastern – the best of all worlds, and especially for those who traverse NH8, thanks to JW Marriot’s specialty restaurant.

Akira Back is an international chain of restaurants, named after a chef of the same name who, to be quite honest, deserves one big kiss if we ever see him. This fine restaurant at the swanky new JW Marriot Aerocity property makes perfect with their newly launched Sunday brunch. The Gurgaon restaurant is run by Chef Kurt Nyren who, we slowly suspect, is something of a Ninja himself. The restaurant is known worldwide for its understated infusion of Korean culinary accents, and the Delhi restaurant goes a step further to suit city tastes.

It starts innocuously enough with soup and starters. A neat, compartmentalised tray arrives at our table, with portions that are perfect to hit the spot, yet leave us hungry for more. The intricately piled Crusted Tuna sits beautifully next to the wok-tossed Rock Shrimp. We compare, we contrast, but we cannot possibly choose – they’re all good.

Time for the next course. When it comes to sushi, there are plenty of fish in the sea, but we still loved the exquisite craft of the thinly sliced rainbow roll that takes us gradually from tuna to salmon to zucchini, in eight pieces. Right next to it is the Robatayaki grill {like Teppanyaki, but with charcoal}, which we used as a welcome break from all the meaty feasting, by choosing skewered eggplant and asparagus. And lamb chops.

Much of the beauty of this brunch buffet comes from the fact that there isn’t actually a buffet. Instead, a carefully considered menu offers you the best of their dishes, which are cooked fresh and brought to your table as soon as they’re prepared. You could choose the Black Cod with Miso for mains, or the Wasabi Pepper Tenderloin with Mushrooms, but the excellent Edamame Risotto easily punches above its weight. We love.

And now onto a dish that deserves discourse and a paragraph of its own – we had the good fortune of encountering the a la carte godfather that is the Tuna Pizza. If anything could have prepared us for the taste of truffles, shiso and ponzu mayo, sprinkled on finely sliced tuna, on a flaky cracker crust, we might have considered having you warned. But this is the best kind of surprise a kitchen can offer, and we really don’t want to ruin it for you.

Lucky for us, the balanced portion sizes make it easy to persevere on, and make it to dessert. We would have never forgiven ourselves for missing the Chocolate covered Peanut Butter Cake, or the Ginger Crème Brulee with mixed fruit and mint. Choosing one between the two might just be the deadliest sin.

Grab a table outdoors, grab a friend, and if signed up for the champagne brunch, reunite with your other best friends otherwise known as Mr. Moet and Mr. Chandon. We think this Sunday should henceforth be known as the day of best.

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Notes in our Little Black Book |

The Sunday brunch to kill all other Sunday brunches, Akira Back slays with superb Japanese dishes, with a Korean essence. Mmm, sounds mysterious. You must investigate.

Where: JW Marriott Hotel Aerocity, Asset Area 4, Hospitality District, Aerocity, IGI Airport, New Delhi

Contact: +91-11-33036643 {reservations recommended}

Price: INR 5500++ for brunch including champagne and premium spirits; INR 3500++ for brunch with soft beverages and fresh juices