Akakiko (Vienna, Austria)

Akakiko entrance

 

Akakiko is a chain restaurant in Austria which serves ‘easy Japanese fusion’. The interior has a Japanese and modern feel, with modern music. The location we happened to visit had the interesting feature that the bathroom was situated outside of the restaurant (which was located in a residential building) Of course not relevant to the food, but it stood out.

Haramuki at Akakiko
Haramuki; japanese ‘spring rolls’

The place was pretty busy when we were there, with a pretty diverse crowd. We happened to be near the Stephansdom, which is in the touristy centre of Vienna. There were several tourists (like us!) but I think there were also actual Viennese lunchers. It is definitely more of a bistro than a fancy restaurant, which is also reflected in the prices. They also do take-out and delivery.

Gyoza at Akakiko
Vegetable gyoza ! Btw those are not shrimps on the table, that is just the table mat…it is a bit unfortunate

Akakiko serves several vegan dishes, which are clearly marked on the menu card. At the back of the menu card there is even a small section where all vegan dishes are grouped together. Most of the vegan options are the starters and smaller dishes, like sushi, but there is also a vegan main. The menu is quite large and it was a bit unclear how much a portion is especially for the starters and side dishes.

Kabechu at Akakiko
Loved this cabbage salad!

Good thing we were hungry, so we decided to just try a bunch of dishes. For starters we had a kabechu salad (cabbage salad), fried rice mix, vegetable gyoza and harumaki (Japanese spring rolls). The kabechu salad was really nice and refreshing, a bit spicey. The gyoza were very nice, crispy and delicate, filled with rice and vegetables. It was served with a spicy sauce. The menu says you get 6 but we got 7, which is also okay! The harumaki had a similar filling and were also very nice, not too oily. The fried rice mix is really almost a complete dish, not really a side or a starter.

Fried rice at Akakiko
Fried rice with some sushi in the background

For mains we wanted to try the yasai sushi and spicey veg (complete dish) And we got them while we were still eating the starters, which was a bit annoying as the table space was quite limited.

Yasai sushi at Akakiko
Yasai: a mix of maki and sushi. Interesting choice of vegetables!

The yasai sushi is a combination of vegetable sushi and maki. The vegetables used, like broccoli, made it quite interesting. The taste was okay, but a bit dry. The spicy veg dish consists of rice with vegetables and mushrooms in a spicy Chilli-Soy sauce. I didn’t think it was very special but it hit the spot.

Spicy veg at Akakiko
Spicy veg; one of the mains

Akakiko serves vegan desserts! I find that many traditional Japanese sweets are actually vegan, but many Japanese restaurants tend to serve “western-style” desserts. Which is a shame, because I love Japanese desserts. At Akakiko we tried the mochi dessert: a rice cake with filling which was served with melon. The mochi was nice and soft, the taste of the filling was not very strong, in a pleasant way.  They also serve “apple gyoza”, which was a similar dough as the vegetable gyoza but filled with apple.  The combination of apple with the crispy gyoza was very good! It reminded me a bit of apple pie (unsurprisingly)

Mochi dessert at Akakiko
Mochi and melon

 

The food was okay, I especially loved the kabechu salad and the gyoza.  The service was unfortunately quite sloppy. We somehow got all our food at once, both the starters and the mains. One of our dishes was forgotten (we got it quickly after reminding the server). And then the desserts were served one after the other, with enough time to finish one dessert and wait around for the next one, which was very strange.

Gyoza at Akakiko
Apple-stuffed gyoza
Type of place: Japanese Fusion restaurants
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes!

Website (German) :  https://akakiko.at/

 

Murakami (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Murakami is a chain of Japanese restaurants in Kyiv that offers sushi and noodle dishes, salads and soups. They also do delivery.

The restaurant has a Japanese inspired décor; chopsticks are standard on the table.

Miso soup at Murakami
Miso soup

The menu shows several vegetarian dishes. However, since for example the sushi with omelet is not marked as vegetarian, the marked dishes might be vegan actually. So points for effort, but confusing execution. There are several vegan options for sushi, such as the avocado, seaweed and cucumber rolls. There is also a vegetable roll, which contains apple, avocado, cucumber and tomato. Interesting!  The waiter kindly pointed out that while this dish normally comes with mayonnaise, it could be made without.

Vegetable rolls at Murakami
Vegetable roll

The miso soup is also vegan, so I opted for that and the vegetable roll. I also sampled some of the avocado rolls from my table mates. Interestingly we first received the sushi and the soup while we were eating the sushi still. Anyway, the food was good. I really liked the miso soup.

Raspberry sorbet at Murakami
Dessert: one scoop of raspberry sorbet

Unfortunately the desserts are not Japanese, and are mostly of the cake and ice cream variety. They do have vegan sorbet ice cream in the flavours of lemon and raspberry.

Overall it was a nice lunch. The service was a bit strange, since we got the soup while we were eating the sushi, but the waiter was kind and helpful when it came to finding vegan dishes on the menu.

Type of place: Japanese restaurant
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes

Website (Russian) : http://murakami.ua/