Review: Akura Harbourside


The elegant dining and lounge bar Akura opened at Harbourside in April and is already gaining rave reviews from diners.

Baby pineapple. Credit: Ruby Gamoga

The name, I am told, comes from the Japanese word sakura, which refers to the pretty cherry blossoms native to the Asian country that are on prominent display at the restaurant’s entrance.

Tempura, a staple dish in Japan, features as a mushroom-based starter. The crispy deep-fried imported baby mushrooms are a great alternative to chips. The dish is generously portioned, with about 20 mushrooms. They are flecked with pieces of seaweedand paired with a sweet and sour sauce made from curcumin, vinegar and sugar; the flavours are eclectic. You can add Tabasco for a hint of heat.

‘Just in case you’ve forgotten, this dish reminds you that Papua New Guinea has the tastiest fruits.’

My main course was a grilled lamb rack with a rich and lemony coriander pesto. It is strikingly fragrant, with all elements, including the crunchy salad garnish, complementing each other.

Dessert was a baby pineapple sitting on a base of shaved ice. Just in case you’ve forgotten, this dish reminds you that Papua New Guinea has the tastiest fruits.

‘The fresh pineapple is hollowed out the night before,’ says chef David Hitovea. ‘And then, just before being served, we add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, and top it off with ice flavoured with pineapple juice.’

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Despite sounding like it might be too sweet, the dose of sugar is surprisingly moderate. The pineapple is garnished with mint, which only adds more interest.

Akura has a good wine list to complement the food, but if you prefer spirits or cocktails the Long Island iced tea – made with tequila, Bacardi rum, vodka, gin, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice and Coke – is a hit. Sip while enjoying sunset harbour views.

What you need to know

Tel. 7320 7777


Open: Daily, from 11am until late.

Style: Lounge bar with a Western menu.

Go-to dishes: Mushroom tempura; lemongrass lamb with coriander dip; baby pineapple; BBQ duck with crepe cucumber and spring onions.

Prices: Starters K50-70; mains K70- 200; desserts K50.

The article ‘Review: Akura Harbourside’ was first published in the June/August 2022 issue of PNG Now, Papua New Guinea’s leading lifestyle magazine.

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