Kamo River, Kyoto
Carlota Akaneya opens on August 15, 2011 as the first sumibiyaki in Europe. Twelve years later, in 2023, it becomes the second restaurant outside Japan—after its sister Marie Akaneya (Paris)—with Matsusaka Beef, the wagyū most prized by the Japanese, and it does so with meat from its most exclusive farm, Ito Ranch. Carlota Akaneya is also one of the only three establishments in Europe to serve the Japanese muskmelon Crown Melon and the only restaurant in the city of Barcelona to serve authentic Kobe Beef.
Carlota Akaneya's story begins in Kyoto, in 2009. During his time in Japan, Ignasi Elías notices a restaurant named Akaneya Junshinken, located on the iconic Ponto-chō street, on the banks of the Kamo River. Inspired by it, two years later, Ignasi opens in Barcelona the first sumibiyaki in Europe with his best friend, Felipe Fernández. As a sign of friendship, Ignasi names the restaurant after his friend's mother.
The beginnings are difficult. The first full night surprises them with the visit of chef Albert Adrià, who leaves the restaurant without eating anything due to the excessive waiting. "It was a disaster," they lament. But word of mouth is unstoppable, giving way to other celebrities such as footballer Andrés Iniesta or chef Ferran Adrià.
In October 2013, Albert Adrià invites them to visit the interior of his restaurant Tickets. "That afternoon we learned more than in 24 months working," says Ignasi. Since then and until the pandemic, Carlota Akaneya is only open at night and dedicates the day to the mise-en-scène preparation.
In 2014, Carlota Akaneya adds to the menus A5 Japanese beef or wagyū, famous for its taste and buttery texture, subtle and velvety marble. Until then, A5 wagyū had never been served outside of Japan, except in Hong Kong and Macau. Thus, Carlota Akaneya becomes the first Western sumibiyaki to serve wagyū A5, the highest rating awarded by the JMGA, the official certificate issuing association in Japan. In November of the same year, Carlota Akaneya decided to make itself known and launches its website, despite "when you have so much to learn it never seems like a good time to talk about yourself", says Ignasi.
Kamo River, Kyoto
In 2016 Carlota Akaneya was reinforced with the incorporation of chef Eloi Soriano first, and Josep Gómez later. In the summer of 2016, Chiho Murata, from Fukuroi, Japan, starts to collaborate with Carlota Akaneya in the progressive improvement of the menus, plate by plate. In its annual Travelers' Choice Awards, TripAdvisor includes Carlota Akaneya in the Top 10 restaurants in Spain. In November 2017, Albert Adrià mentions Carlota Akaneya as one of his favorite restaurants in Time Out magazine.
In 2020, Carlota Akaneya becomes the first restaurant in the city of Barcelona and the fourth in Spain to serve certified Kobe Beef. Forced by the hourly restrictions on the hospitality industry against Covid, Carlota Akaneya reopens at noon on the weekends. In 2021 they added the muskmelon Crown Melon to the menu, from Fukuroi, happenning with the restaurant's 10th anniversary and the centenary of the Shizuoka Crown Melon company, created in 1921.
Kamo River, Kyoto
Carlota Akaneya is a popular Japanese cuisine sumibiyaki made with premium product from Japan. The architecture is inspired by the typical Japanese izakaya, with its akachōchin or red lamp lighting its entrance. The sumibiyaki aesthetic of the more alternative Kyoto is transferred to Pintor Fortuny 32 street in Barcelona and its interior, where nine self-made barbecue tables are raised on the same terrazzo floor of the tavern that preceded it, called Ivanhoe. Akachōchin o lámpara roja alumbrando su entrada. La estética sumibiyaki del Kioto más alternativo se traslada a la calle Pintor Fortuny 32 de Barcelona y a su interior, donde nueve mesas-barbacoa de fabricación propia se levantan sobre el mismo suelo de terrazo de la taberna que le precedió, llamada Ivanhoe.
At Carlota Akaneya, tradition and austerity combine to create a genuine atmosphere bathed in jazz music, a favorite among the great chefs of Japan. A corner of the Raval where day and night merge to slightly shake the notion of time.
Few things captivate as much as fire, intimacy and omotenashi, aspects that Carlota Akaneya strives to combine appropriately. Whether it's a first visit or not, as you enter Carlota Akaneya and walk through its sliding door, the lounge staff waits inside to welcome you and make you feel at home, as well as in Japan.
Popular haute cuisine
If the basis of pleasure in the kitchen is the raw material, Carlota Akaneya's secret begins in their relationship with the suppliers and the choice of the best possible ingredients. The simplicity of the dishes highlights the prominence of a product that, in any case, is enhanced with a subtle touch. Little is necessary when you have the responsibility of working with certain treasures of nature. Everything must be of the highest quality and prepared to perfection.
The cooking method is added to the quality of the product which is old-fashioned, with a charcoal that is dumped on the table manually in each service. "It is possibly the most sacrificed trade that exists in restoration," confesses Chiho. But also "the most romantic expression I have ever known."
Carlota Akaneya does not know if the guest will have a chance to return, so she prepares tasting menus that ensure a wide assortment of flavors and textures from Japan, such as the previous dance that surrounds the barbecue fire. Each plate has a function within the whole, an intricate and woven story as the course progresses.
Born in 1985 in Les Corts district of Barcelona, Josep is in love with cooking and good food. Since he was little he helped in the kitchen of his house on weekends, holidays or on special dates. Above all, he was fascinated that his parents were able to spend a whole morning locked in the kitchen preparing a single meal that could be eaten in a few minutes. When asked about his childhood flavor, however, Grandma's cannelloni always come out.
Things of fate, in his tender youth he was always surrounded by friends and acquaintances from the restaurant world. However, cooking was such a natural passion that he, paradoxically, did not see it as a way to earn a living "because he enjoyed himself too much." Until one day a friend asked him to be a waiter at the opening of a restaurant. After a short time of being there, and in the most natural way, they realized that they had to take advantage of his baggage among the stoves and he began to make room in the kitchen. There he discovered that his talent could change a business for the better, and he decided to work towards that.
He tried different restaurants in Barcelona before making the leap towards haute cuisine at the Tram-Tram restaurant, where he worked with chef Isidre Soler, trained with great names such as Ferran Adrià, Fermí Puig and Santi Santamaria.
At the Hofmann cooking school in Barcelona, he discovered the true importance of knowing the product and how to treat it. There he was lucky to learn together with the teacher and chef Lluís Rovira, who knew how to convey to him, like no one before, the immense love for the kitchen.
Finally, the opportunity came to train at Carlota Akaneya, starting at the bottom. He accepted because he was enthusiastic about Japanese cuisine and because, upon entering the restaurant, he felt "something special, a love at first sight." From Chiho Murata, he learned the simple details that determine the excellence of a dish in Japan and the factors that elevate it to the experience category. It didn't take long for him to gain her trust and go on to run the kitchen, first, and then the restaurant itself.
Earth, fire and water
There is something about Kyoto that inspires Carlota Akaneya. The name Kyoto itself makes you breathe more deeply. Its beautiful scenes, sumptuous cuisine and calm rhythm make it easy for you to enjoy every moment. The Tawaraya ryokan, the Ogata restaurant, or strolling through Shirakawa Gion and Shinbashi Dori streets represent the very essence of beauty, sometimes unnoticed for lacking any pretense. The simple and rustic architecture separates you from the overwhelming outside world and plunges you into an almost meditative state.
Carlota Akaneya transfers this harmony with nature to its cutlery and dishes, using simple metals and woods adapted to each need and season of the year. There are also used carefully selected rustic ceramics created by Japanese craftsmen. Japanese artisan tableware stands out for its delicacy, resistance and exquisite shapes. For the chef's menu, he chooses unique pieces from the Yuu workshop in Barcelona, directed by the artist Motoko Araki. Using traditional methods, Araki takes time to make each piece. He begins with the good kneading of the clay in the original Japanese way and continues with the creation of the form using the lathe. Each piece is left to dry for 8 hours before glazing and firing at high temperature for another 14 hours. The resulting colors, shades and shapes give Japanese tableware and diners a sense of Zen beauty and well-being.
To book a table you must accept the following Reservation Conditions.
Our menus are closed menus for 2 people and are based on a wide range of meats. We do not have vegetarian or vegan menus. However, if one of the two people is vegetarian or vegan, we can adapt the menu, prior notice, so that they can enjoy different dishes without meat or animal protein, and the other can enjoy meats normally. We cannot substitute meat for fish.
We can adapt it. The menus consist of several shared dishes, so the adaptation applies to both customers. To adapt the menu you only need to indicate your intolerance when making your reservation.
All menus are for a minimum of 2 people and the price of the menu is per person. However, if there is a minor among the 3 people, it is possible to share a single menu (for 2 people).
No. The restaurant resembles a Japanese tavern. It consists of a small room with 9 tables without privacy or noise. If you are looking for an elegant restaurant in its most classic, quiet and spacious sense, Carlota Akaneya may not live up to your expectations.
You may book for a maximum of 4/6 people, depending on availability. Larger group reservations are not accepted.
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The own air extraction and supply system guarantee constant air circulation and ventilation of sumibiyaki In addition, the restaurant has the Zonair3D air purification system, the most advanced on the market. It contains viricidal nanofibers that filter microparticles and inactivate viruses, including Covid-19. More about this technology
Please call us at +34 933 027 768
We welcome all requests, but unfortunately, we do not do these types of collaborations.