Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ninja Akasuka: Don't Mess with the Ninjas

 "Oh no! We have reached a rapid river...How can we cross over to the opposite end?" Indeed, there was no transparent glass ceiling and one would land into the river at the very next step. Before we could react, our Ninja waiter murmured some charms and shooooo....a wooden bridge gradually fell into place and we crossed over safely. Yet it was still a distance away before we were led to our dining "cell". Welcome to Ninja Akasaka, another themed restaurant in Tokyo that has already been widely featured on travel documentaries, magazines etc.

Ancient Scroll (Menu)
Fortunately, we did not have to dine in the dark as we were ushered to a table of four within a "cave" that is warmly lit.Stage gimmicks aside, the food wins more on creativity than quality. 
For instance, the Stir Fry Chicken Wings and Cashew Nuts (¥2000) reminded of Gong Bao Ji Ding with the dried Chilli and Sichuan Peppercorn but failed to mimic the Chinese classic dish well. The nuts were rancid and the chicken wings were sweet instead of spicy. 
One should skipped the Salmon Ikura Sushi and the Unagi Camembert Cheese Sushi because they are costlier and less satisfactory than those from sushi-ya.
The Hotstone Hotpot, labelled as signature item, is a dish prepared ala minute in front of the guests. The Ninja waitress threw all the vegetables, meat and a hot stone into the wooden basket of soup. To ensure no one opened the lid, the basket was guarded by a Ninja mascot toy until the waitress returned again to serve the soup with the side toppings. On the contrary, the flavours of the soup did not spark much excitement.
This Ninja Salad was also listed as their Signature item but not memorable except for the crunchy biscuit tart surrounding the vegetables.
That said, I would recommend the following dishes, starting with the Potato Salad.
All eyes zeroed in on the "egg" when the Potato Salad arrived. But it is not an egg but a ball of salad dressing that is composed primarily of mayonnaise.

Yet, we could not ascertain the identity of the yellow goo that leaks out from the "egg". Instead of getting potato cubes, one finds deep-fried strips of potato that looked like ramen with a variety of vegetables. I love this interesting interpretation of Japanese potato salad as it spear-rocketed this simple dish into another realm.
Main dishes like the Roasted quail with stuffings was much worth the yen for the portion size. It was tender and not overcooked.  It was not served to the table but popped out instantly from a quail egg (magic stunt involved) . 

For fish lovers, the Saikyo Salmon with some risotto-like creamed porridge would not disappoint.

The "Big Mountain Chicken" with sweet potatoes came sizzling on the hot metal plate. The hearty slab of chicken was perfectly smoked with tender fleshes retained. under the crispy skin. Both dishes were fairly more reasonable in terms of quality and portion for ¥1500 each. 

Desserts were similarly very creatively presented but do not expect too much for the quality. Instead of  the Snow Frog (a berries-filled cheesecake on sable crust), we were drawn to The Bonsai tree, a tri-sorbet dessert of black sesame, matcha and milk. For something light, the Red Bean Yokan Jelly with Matcha Mousse that is not too sweet will be an ideal choice.

Overall, the service is excellent and the ambience is elevated not only with the interior design but also magic performances and stunts during our dinner. We opted for the ala carte but there are set courses which start from ¥5000/pax. Not sure which deal is more worth it as our average spending that night approximates to that amount as well.  Do ring up to reserve and check if there is ala carte menu available for that day as set courses are the norm. Food is definitely not cheap, but for the fun experience, why not?
Akasaka Tokyu Plaza 1st fl., 2-14-3 Nagatacho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0014
Mon-Sat 5pm-1am
Sun/PH 5pm-11pm
Nearest Access: Akasaka-mitsuke Station


  1. Looks amazing. I especially like the magic stunt for the roasted quail with stuffings. I am a sucker for such (stunt). Haha.

  2. Hi Wenfang,
    Thank you for reading this post. I hope it didn't act as a spoiler in case u visit this place in future ;)


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