Akai Ryu has been open for almost two weeks now. This new shabu shabu and sushi restaurant is located on the second floor next to the 24 hour Walgreen’s in Porter Square. They do not have their liquor license yet but aim to obtain one soon.
The decor is modern, stylish and lounge-like. Akai Ryu is very spacious. Many of the larger tables overlook Porter Square and they have a large area that would be good for private parties. I really like that they have a conveyor belt sushi track but it was not being used when we stopped in for dinner.
We decided order a la carte because we don’t usually each the noodles or rice that come with the combination sets. For broths, we wanted to try the herbal and spicy Schezuan flavors. The spicy Schezuan broth was spicy but didn’t really have much mala, or numbing heat, because there were very few mala peppers added. The herbal broth also need more herbs, there wasn’t many dried herbs floating in the other half of the pot other than chicken stock, perhaps less than a small handful. Both my dining companion and I were very surprised to see how much meat you receive, but at nearly half more in price than other shabu places that we frequent, it was a given that we would either be pleased or annoyed. Fortunately we were pleased. We tried the rib eye, sirloin, chicken, beef tongue, taro and baby bok choy. The meats were all good quality. The only problem is that the chicken was not properly frozen before slicing so that when we cooked it, it made a mess then stuck to the sides of the shabu pot, utensils and metal serving tongs. The other thing that I would have liked is that the beef tongue be sliced not lengthwise, as it makes it harder to cook the meat and eat it.
Service was friendly and many of the servers are young, in their early twenties. We had a young lady named Halle who was very attentive and nice. Hopefully the kitchen will improve the quantity of dry herbal additions to their broth and correct the lack of freezing chicken before slicing it. Akai Ryu is very new and shows promise. We will be back to try the sushi and have a few drinks in the future.
Akai Ryu Sushi & Shabu
822 Somerville Ave, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02140