Akemi Review - The New Miyuki? (Berkeley, Solano Ave.)

We paid a visit to what used to be Miyuki on Solano last weekend. Turns out Akemi has been
around for about a year now, and I’m sorry it took us so long to try it.

The restaurant is sleek and elegant, more intimate, with romantic lighting, reclaimed wood, lovely, rustic stone tableware – overall, a badly needed remodel on the rundown, garishly lit Miyuki space. I’m still not sure who owns the place - Akemi’s website calls it “the latest incarnation of Miyuki.” A server told me they were the same owners, but a manager-looking-type on Saturday said no, they were new owners.

Three of us ordered the hamachi “salad” - yellowtail, avocado, edamame jalapeño, and ponzu; miso-marinated black cod; okonomiyaki seafood pancake with cabbage, bonito, nori, aioli, tonkatsu sauce; a 49rs Roll; spicy scallop handroll; nigiri of toro, shiro maguro, and sake.

Everything was wonderful. The hamachi was a bit hard to eat with chopsticks, as the other elements sat on top of the sashimi. But otherwise, a beautiful dish. The cod was perfectly cooked, nice and moist, with a little bit of charring and a bit of arugula salad on the side. The okonomiyaki was my favorite, and did its bonito-shavings-dance-thing as it was brought to the sushi bar, and was delicious – very fresh tasting, great texture. I’d be very hard-pressed not to order it again. All the fish was fresh though, and nicely cut.

I’m dying to try their lobster ramen, tonkotsu ramen, the grilled kurabuta pork belly, and the momiji braised spare ribs.

Their wine list is really interesting – all Italians! I can’t remember the name of the producer, but it seems they’re only using one, and they’ll be switching up the wines intermittently. The manager-type said that they picked Italians as they go very well with Japanese food, and sushi in particular. I had a really lovely, extremely floral sauvignon blanc; which I’d remembered to get the name of it as the wine list isn’t on the website.

We’re really happy with this change.




Address: 1695 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707
betw Tacoma and Ensenada Aves.
Phone:(510) 524-1286
Looks like they are open 7 days/wk

went again for lunch yesterday - some repeats but we also had a beautiful plate of hamachi sashimi, half the cuts lightly brushed with a lime juice/soy mixture. and the wine i loved so much is by La Cappuccina.

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oh and i got the full story about ownership. new owners bought Miyuki about 4 years ago, kept the name, then remodeled and renamed it last year.

Oh thanks! Another place to try!

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I’m so glad you posted about Akemi. I posted on CH about it maybe a year ago – it’s still on our regular rotation. Decor’s not huge for me but I really enjoy the style of their space. It’s also easy for a wheelchair user.

I tend to get some mix of the cucumber salad, tempura, gyoza, and the simpler sushi and rolls. The grilled salmon, tonkatsu, and spicy ramen have all been good. I didn’t care for the small-plate grilled squid; it was tough and it had an odd, bitter flavor. So far, that’s about the only thing that’s been a miss.

The most surprising dish for me has been the yuzu wanna cotta. It’s got a great texture and a delicate, lingering citrusy aroma that is set off well by the garnish of teeny cubes of strawberry and candied peel.

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Is “wanna cotta” a typo or the actual name of the dish? Either way I love it.

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D’oh! Yes, it was supposed to be “panna cotta.”


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been wanting to try that though we usually don’t get dessert. thanks for the tip.

and i like “wanna cotta”!

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo