Akira Restaurant (Kingston) – The only good sushi in Kingston (that I’ve found)

Kingston sushi sucks. Plain and simple. I try not to be a sushi racist. I don’t care if it is made by Koreans (Asha, Take, Sushi-Ya) or the Chinese (Sakura). But generally, it is overpriced, has a horrible rice:fish ratio (R:F ratio is ever so important), and is underwhelming. Some of it is plain bad and some of it is just unremarkable for the price.

Then there is Akira. One of my senior residents told me about this place. It is really good. And I don’t feel the need to qualify that statement. It isn’t just good sushi for Kingston, it is just plain good. Not as good as some of the stuff I get in Calgary or in Toronto, but still good.

It is in the middle of nowhere (up by John Counter and John A MacDonald) and in a shady strip mall. Don’t let the outside looks deceive you: the interior is quite spacious and modern. It is much better than TaKe, Asha, and Sushi-Ya’s interior. Based upon the significant amount of Korean food on the menu, I am going to guess that it is run by Koreans.


First: the Love Boat for 2 ($36.95). A bit pricey but you do get a lot of fish. It would stuff 2 people but would modestly satisfy 3. I think what you get varies from day to day but what we got here was a six-piece California Roll (I know, these are just filler but they were actually made pretty well), and a six-piece tempura roll. We also got 3 sashimi pieces each of red tuna, salmon, butter fish, and red snapper. Then we got 12 pieces of nigiri, with 2 of salmon, red tuna, red snapper, some sort of white fish, prawn (steamed), and unagi.


A close-up of the California Roll. I hate California Rolls as much as the next person but observe the impressive R:F (rice to fish ratio). Very low! Furthermore, look at the detailing of the cucumber: pre-sliced instead of a solid block. This is an impressive California Roll indeed!

IMG_9255I like how the Tuna Nigiri has gold flakes. I can’t taste the difference but is a nice touch. The nigiri in particular has an impressive R:F ratio.

IMG_8784This is the Spicy Tuna roll for $6.95. A good R:F ratio but a bit too much tempura flakes. Not the best I’ve had but certainly not a bad deal for that price.

IMG_8775This is the sushi and sashimi combination for 1 ($18.95). Too much food for 1 person but too little for 2. Similar to the love boat but just fewer pieces. Again, there is butterfish (yesssss I love butterfish) and gold flakes on the tuna.

Overall, this is the best sushi place in Kingston. People are telling me Discover Japan is good too so I will have to check it out. Until then… Akira stands high above the others. Sushi-Ya? You mean… Sushi-Nah!

Akira Restaurant, Suite 6, Aberfoyle Road, Kingston, ON, (613)-767-7664, no website available.
Akira Restaurant on Urbanspoon

~ by Russ on June 13, 2009.

21 Responses to “Akira Restaurant (Kingston) – The only good sushi in Kingston (that I’ve found)”

  1. sorry…the sashimi was turning bad when I visited. They gave me cooked white tuna when it was close to expiring. it’s a terrible place for sushi. the tuna is off colour.

    • Sorry that you had a bad experience there. I haven’t been for a few months and it is very possible that it may have changed. May I recommend Sima? I’ve been there 5x now in the last 3 months and I’ve been satisfied each time.

      My review is here.

    • I think you’ve mixed up between Akira and Sima Sush. I am a regular customer at Akira.I probably visit the restaurant at least once a week. So far, I have NEVER EVER seen them serve cooked white tuna. Also I’ve never had any issues with the freshness or the quality of the fish they serve. Today, I tried Sima Sushi for the first time… They served seared white tuna and fish that was not cut properly. The fish wasn’t fresh at all and it was disappointing. Trust me… I am Japanese and I know how proper sushi and sashimi should look and taste like.

      • Going to have to disagree with you Yosuke. Both Akira and SIma are awesome places for sushi in this town. Maybe you went to Sima when they were just starting? They’ve really hit their stride in this town and it is usually quite packed.

  2. Great review!
    I’ll have to give it a shot next time I’m in Kingston. The last place I had sushi was at Asha and I received terrible service – the worst. I waited almost 40 minutes for my food, and once it arrived I didn’t see my server again; I had an empty drink, empty plate, and I was trying to get more food since it was ‘all you can eat’ but to no avail. I walked out after about two hours of waiting and was never given the last course of my meal.

    • Sadly, as I live in downtown, I do frequent Asha/Take a surprising amount. I know my money is better spent else where. But there are days when Sima is closed and all there is is Asha and Take. I am always so hopeful that they will serve better food. But they never do.

      Tip: avoid the gam-ja-tang at Asha. Tastes frozen.

  3. We live around the corner from Akira and have eaten there about 6 times (tonight will be 7) and have always found the food to be great and the service friendly. However, the miso soup can be good to so so, likely depending on who makes it. But lets be serious, nobody goes there for the miso. Definitely try the caterpillar role. They look so cool and delicious!

    • I’ll check it out Andrew. I tend to hit Sima more only because it is closer. I had a chirashi sushi combo (for a WHOPPING $23.99) recently at Akira and it was fantastic… but expensive.

  4. I literally just got home from eating there.. and oh my god.. I have not had better sushi, EVER! The service was amazing, but I went just before closing and had most of the attention 🙂 This was the first time I had been there, and I would recommend it to anyone in Kingston or the surrounding areas. I used to live in the Toronto area – and know good sushi when I see/taste it. This was amazing! Nothing else in Kingston compares – honestly. I have been to every japanese restaurant in Kingtson, and this one tops. The prices were awesome. I left completely satisfied for under $40 (which is amazing considering I am used to paying close to $60 or more to be full).

    • Funny that you find the prices awesome. I find them maybe a little on the expensive side. If you want a good deal with good sushi, check out Sima. Akira really does have some high quality techniques and fish though!

      What I love about the cucumber in their California Roll (yes, I sometimes eat these, yes, I know it isn’t really even sushi, but it comes with the Love Boat, give me a break!) is that it is sliced thinly so that when you bite the roll, it falls apart. You don’t get this lump of cucumber in your mouth contrasting with the softness of the rice, pollock, and seaweed. Really great attention to detail!

      • I actually DO find the prices fair. I started eating sushi in Toronto, and if you want “the good stuff” then you pay out the arse for it.
        I can honestly say that I have only tried their california roll once, and it was the deepfired california roll. I prefer the kamikazi roll – I have never tasted spicy sauce like that before.
        I have been there about 10 times since this post, and I have never been disappointed with their service or quality. I honestly can’t see myself even trying Sima, lol

      • Hey April,

        I do hope you give Sima a shot. I really like it. I find Akira prohibitively slow. The service at Sima is just impeccable!

  5. You have to try Izumo (formerly Discover Japan). The couple comes from a great Toronto spot Japango and the food is top notch. Better than Take, Sima, Asha…..let me know what you think.

    • Are you sure they come from Japango? I luuuuuvvvv Japango (I am not sure if there are more locations in Toronto, but the one I go to is on Elizabeth and Dundas). I am pretty sure Ken from Izumo is Korean and that the people at Japango (that I go to) are Japanese. I could be wrong though…

  6. Akira’s pretty much the only place to go for sushi, you’re completely right about that. Have you tried the Caterpillar Roll? Take a pic of THAT! I just about died when I saw it the first time. Died with JOY! ^_^b

    SUSHI: It’s How I Roll.

    • Akira is pretty high quality. I still visit Sima more because of convenience but they too are quite good. Akira can be deadly slow with service and they can be a bit pricey too.

  7. The food is okay, it takes more than an hour to be served.

  8. Have you tried Sapporo’s on Bath road? I find it really nice compared to many of the other sushi places. I’ve yet to try Akira, but i am heading there soon for some. I enjoyed the info you had about the food there. I hope its good. Sima and Izumo i found tasted bland.. but i still go there to eat…

    Sushi, Nothing cooked compares. ♥

    • This is the second time someone has recommended Sapporo to me. I am definitely going to check it out. The problem is that I often forget my camera and I hate posting without photos! Thanks for the tip.

  9. I’d have to say that Sapporo is my favourite sushi place in town, but I’m going to try Akira today, which is my last stop for sushi in Kingston, so I’ll let you know how it compares.

    • And? What is the verdict? If you say that Akira is not as good as Sapporo… I will give Sapporo a re-try… otherwise, I think I am going to have to pass.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s