The French-Asian duality of AKA Bistro is practically embedded in its founders’ DNA. Christian Touche made his way behind the scenes of upscale restaurants in France and Switzerland when still a teenager. His Honolulu-born business partner, Executive Chef Chris Chung, grew up in the rich culinary climate of Macao—a former Portuguese colony on the coast of China—before returning to Hawaii to study sushi. Today's Reserve selection invites you to taste how their talents combine with a seven-course tasting dinner for two or four, valid any time except Friday or Saturday between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dinner includes the following chef-selected dishes:
- Four sashimi courses
- Two French courses
- One dessert
Touche's and Chung’s paths converged thanks to Boston dining superstar Kenneth Oringer—Touche was working at Clio and Chung was working at Uni when the two met. At AKA Bistro, they’ve transported the upscale ingredients and techniques of both establishments to a less-formal dining space that’s a study in openness, with plentiful windows channeling light onto long tables and comfy booths. The dining room opens onto the kitchen, where guests might catch a glimpse of chefs drawing out flavor and color from sashimi plates of tuna, salmon, and lobster by glazing them with aromatic sauces and topping them with seasonal accents such as compressed Asian pear or black garlic vinaigrette. “There’s plenty of imagination, but Chung knows when to back off and let the fish’s flavor come through,” Boston magazine remarked of the Japanese side of the menu.
The sounds of sizzling might herald French courses such as hand-cut beef tartare or escargots served with bacon and an herb-tinged butter jus. And like the preceding courses, desserts change nightly and display a careful orchestration of color and flavor. In the strawberry-rhubarb genoise with crème fraîche, for instance, bits of red fruit pop against the garnish of a single violet petal. The fusion of warm and cool continues even off the plate: a patio welcomes guests to dine outdoors much of the year, thanks to heat lamps and rainclouds’ aversion to ruining a good plate of steak frites.