What’s on the menu at Akira Back, the Michelin-starred chef’s first Canadian restaurant

What’s on the menu at Akira Back, the Michelin-starred chef’s first Canadian restaurant

Name: Akira Back
Contact: 80 Blue Jays Way, 2nd floor, 437-800-5967, akirabacktoronto.com, @akirabacktoronto
Neighbourhood: King West
Owners: Charles Khabouth (INK Entertainment, ICONINK)
Chefs: Executive consulting chef Akira Back (DOSA, other Akira Back locations), head chef Sung Won Hwang (DOSA) and sushi chef Kihyun Kim (ABSTEAK by Akira Back)

The food

The menu of Korean-flavoured Japanese dishes features a few of Back’s playful signature items (tuna pizza, wagyu tacos), a whole whack of fancy ingredients (foie gras, caviar, truffle paste) and more-traditional sushi, sashimi and maki. One dish exclusive to this location is Back’s quirky tribute to Canada: crispy cubes of rice topped with seared tuna and flavoured with ketchup powder, because ketchup chips.

The Truffle Bomb Croquettes are topped with marinated sweet shrimp, sea urchin and caviar. $25.


Jeju domi is Back’s take on a raw fish dish made by his mother (it’s also presented on a plate featuring some of her artwork). Orange-essence-infused tobiko are wrapped in slices of sea bream, and dressed with gochujang. $22.


The crispy rice is topped with seared tuna, ketchup powder, ketchup ponzu and pearl onion rings. It’s only available at this location. $14.


Hirame (flounder) with serrano peppers and tomatillo soy. $22.


The Brother From Another Mother roll features two different kinds of eel (unagi, tempura anago) topped with foie gras and dressed with ponzu aïoli. $19.


Back’s signature tuna pizza is a baked tortilla crust topped with paper-thin slices of tuna. It’s finished with micro shiso, truffle oil and Maldon sea salt. $22.


Here it is again, looking more pizza-y.


The 48-hour wagyu short rib is an homage to a recipe Back’s mother made for him when he was young. It’s garnished with a soft-cooked quail egg, carrot and potato. $32.


Head chef Sung Won Hwang worked at Michelin-starred DOSA before moving to Toronto.


Sushi chef Kihyun Kim worked at ABSTEAK by Akira Back in Jakarta.


In addition to custom-made plates featuring artwork by Back’s mother, the chopsticks were made to facilitate sharing (one side is for personal use; the flip-side for serving).


The drinks

Premium sake, spirits, beer and wine, as well as a eight house cocktails, including a green tea-infused bourbon sour.

Ōdōri: Suntory Toki, shiso-infused Campari, sweet vermouth and green tea tincture. $18.


The Enomoto Margarita: cinnamon-infused Cazadores Reposado, Mezcal Jaral de Berrio, lime, grapefruit, Thai chili agave and volcanic black salt. $20.


Yasuke Sour: green tea-infused Bulleit bourbon, yuzu, lemon, egg white and charcoal. $18.


The space

The 140-seat Studio Munge-designed room features a six-seat sushi bar and a curved watercolour ceiling inspired by Back’s mother’s artwork. “I wanted to bring something that was special and unique to the city,” says Khabouth. “What you will get here, you will get nowhere else.”

The six-seat sushi bar.