Review: Acho's, Karangahape Road
A taste of… Acho's, St Kevins Arcade, 183 Karangahape Road, Newton
We'd heard… They'd just expanded their popular food truck offerings into one of the glass-fronted former shops in St Kevin's Arcade, serving up a good selection of Japanese street food and an impressive range of Japanese beers and spirits.
We started with… Big frosty mugs of Orion tap beer ($12, brewed on the island of Okinawa) paired with a basket of edamame, followed by two of their signature steamed buns ($7), which come with juicy tempura chicken, pork or prawns, a good handful of salad and squiggles of Japanese sauces.
The pork dumplings ($6 for three) and the karaage ($7) were delicious but both a little on the small side servings-wise and the fried chicken could have done with a dollop of mayo.
The service was… Smiley, helpful, informative and wonderfully Japanese. Worth coming for that alone.
The vibe was… A little underwhelming, but they only opened last week, and it is likely something of a challenge to create a vibe in that kind of shared open space where you can't play music or control the lighting etc.
We were also slightly puzzled there were no chopsticks on offer and instead were given a plastic fork each, and it would have been good to have sauces on the tables too. Small things though.
If you go… Talk to Tomoko about her recommendations for the Japanese drinks they sell, which include some great whiskeys and a selection of umeshu (plum wine), some infused with green tea or brown sugar. And try the snack set ($8), we didn't as we assumed it was just a selection of the other menu items, but it looked fun.
But try to avoid... Coming if you're after a big, substantial meal - this is more a snacky/drinky spot (the window says 'Japanese tapas'), but fills that gap perfectly.
Rating out of 5: 4