Testimonials

"Akemi is one of the best private Japanese chefs in town. This is not your regular Japanese restaurant fare. It is Japanese comfort food packed with wholesome goodness. Each dish was extraordinary and plated beautifully. Her attention to detail is evident, ensuring each offering is perfect. Best of all was knowing that every ingredient was meticulously chosen for their health benefits. What makes it special is that these types of dishes aren't available anywhere. In one of her classes, she made her own tofu from scratch (and yes, there is a difference in taste, much creamier than commercial tofu) and mochi in several creative flavors!  She is also versatile in her menu offerings and was able to offer a variety of options from vegetarian to macrobiotic catering to the tastes of different guests. Having her cook in the privacy of your own home is an added treat. It is no wonder the Japanese have so many centenarians!"    

- Tia, Burlingame


"The best home-cooked dinner we’re ever likely to eat, was that created by Akemi for us one Saturday night. Interestingly, this superb feast contained very little fish, just a small amount for flavouring. Way to go!  Table was immaculately laid out, every little dainty morsel perfectly positioned. It was really an astonishing meal, and so well described and explained, and one we will long remember." 

Nadine, San Francisco  


"It was both a sensory pleasure and an education. The level of attention to detail in flavor and presentation among the many dishes was astonishing while I learnt so much about Japanese ingredients and cooking techniques." 

- Coleman, San Francisco


"I have tasted two kinds of Japanese sweets - Nerikiri and Uguisu-mochi - made by Akemi at Doll’s Festival party at my friend’s house. I was simply very surprised how delicious they were!!! They were freshly made with selected ingredients and each piece was made delicately with attention to detail. That level of quality of taste and beauty is hard to come by in the Bay Area.

My husband was not fond of Azuki bean sweets but when he tasted Akemi’s sweets he said “Is this really Anko (sweet azuki bean paste)? How delicious!!” and munched away.

With that I really want to learn how to make them to enjoy at home and requested Akemi to teach me how. She kindly accepted the request and taught a group of us how to make Usagi manju (rabbit steamed dumpling).

The class was really fun! Even as a first-timer, I was able to make very cute rabbit easily and it turn out very tasty, too.

Akemi knows the joy of making Japanese traditional sweets. She says “Don’t worry about making mistakes. You can recover it!” and encourages you throughout the process. I thoroughly enjoyed making manju at ease.

Akemi is very organized and the way of her teachings are clear and cover essential tips and techniques. Anybody, even who is not dexterous can learn, so don’t worry and enjoy!"

- Kazuko, Redwood City


"The word “authentic” came to my mind when I tasted Japanese sweets made by Akemi. Like the sweets you get from established shops in Japan, they were beautiful and tasty. Manju was soft and reminded me of the "Onsen-manju" you get from hot spring towns in Japan.

I was very impressed with Akemi's enthusiasm and continuous efforts she puts in. She uses select ingredients from Japan to retain authenticity but she also uses local produce such as different kinds of organic beans for pastes. The way she taught her Usagi-manju class was very thorough. My previous experiences in making sweets was mainly with cakes and cookies so learning how to make traditional Japanese sweets was interesting and  new to me.

I think what she provides in the Bay Area is absolutely unique. I strongly recommend her class to all of you."

- Yuko, Foster City


"Akemi's talent for cooking and her curiosity towards new creation covers not only traditional Japanese cuisine but also extends to Western baking. I have tasted many of her heartwarming dishes and sweets but if I have to choose my favorite, it has to be apricot & ginger scone. The texture of the scone is not too heavy or too light and just perfect. The flavor of ginger makes it slightly Japanese and I simply love them. "

- Tomoko, Palo Alto


"We had the pleasure to enjoy a beautiful Japanese banquet cooked by Aemi in December 2009. She cooked the dinner with such care and love. Each dish was presented in such artistic form and tasted so delicious. Our favorite were the Chawanmushi which is a gorgeous steamed custard, so mouth watering, the shrimp tempura and also all the assorted small plates were so tasty. To end the meal Akemi made gorgeous Japanese dessert. It was a real fantastic experience and our mouth water as we talk about the meal. We would highly recommend Akemi Chef to all lovers of food"

- Jen and Chris, Sydney, Australia        


Worthy of Kaiseki style meals in Kyoto, Akemi’s Omotenashi, I think are a rare experience not only in the Bay Area but in America. Her attention to detail extends to menu ideas, selection of ingredients, multiple steps of preparation, seasoning and choice of serving dishes.

I heard Akemi say “When cooking I think of people’s condition and feelings, hoping the dishes will provide the best possible effect”. I thought her tasty dishes truly came with the grand sum of feelings from her heart.

The same goes for her Japanese sweets.It’s very difficult to achieve the same level of quality, taste, and design as established shops but she is like a master in the field and served me many fine traditional sweets. Making them is not an easy task but at her class, she very effectively explained the basics of the ingredients and techniques making it fun. My daughter also took the lesson and was very happy with her rabbit manju.

- Emi, San Mateo - 


"I had the good fortune to experience Akemi's cooking last winter and can report back that it was a truly unique and unbelievable culinary experience. First of all, there were no less than 17 dishes and bowls of food that were brought out over the course of the evening . This is not including the various dishes, plates and bowls we'd be eating off of. Accompanying this remarkable succession of Japanese delicacies was a deliciously subtle homemade ginger-infused sake, flavored with goji berries.

Of course, the first that strikes you about Akemi's style is the immaculate visual display -- not only the careful collage of plates, dishes, and serving implements beautifully arrayed on the table, but also the impressive mastery of artfully arranging the presentation of the food on the dishes.

I will close with a tiny mouth watering sample of just a few of the evening delicacies: roasted genmai (brown rice) okayo (porridge) with konbu (seasweed) and umeboshi, chawanmushi (savory egg custard with shrimp, fish cake, shiitake mushrooms and gingko nuts), and shrimp-stuffed shiitake mushrooms, lotus roots with mustard miso, kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), and shungiku.

- Julian, San Francisco -


My dining experience provided by Akemi of Imakoko Japanese Cuisine was no doubt on of the most memorable, and excellent ever. Akemi's attention to detail is unparalleled. She's very conscious of all facets of creating a fine balance of different tastes that compliment each other well, and proper Sake paring. As a vegetarian, I often find it difficult to find a meal that leaves me totally satisfied, so to have a meal as amazing as the one provided by Akemi not only left me satisfied, but has me truly craving for the next time I'm lucky enough to experience her fine crafting. 

I strongly recommend Akemi of Imakoko for anyone who can appreciate fine quality Japanese cuisine.

- Ryan, San Francisco -


I can not thank Akemi enough for the Imakoko culinary experience. I received a gift certificate for her service and I had no idea of what was to come. The six of us, all vegetarian, were greeted with sake infused with goji and ginger and led towards a table overflowing with a breath-taking display of traditional cuisine. The colors, presentation and, most importantly, floavors, were so incredible and inspiring. As each course kept on coming it surpassed the next. After four courses we felt full, satisfied and surprisingly cleansed. It was truly a cultural and culinary adventure. 

Anyone who is looking for incredible food and a new experience I would highly recommend Akemi at Imakoko Cuisine.

- Megan, San Francisco -


Homemade tofu
A typical table setting
  
Nerikiri - Camelia 
  
Nerikiri - Autumn mountains
Usagi (rabbit) manju
Ichigo (strawberry) daifuku & Uguisu mochi
Jyouyo manju
  
                                  Mango trifle                         Apricot & ginger scone
Sakura mochi
  
        Fried sweet potatoes with sesame                      Clementine cake
Persimmon jelly and Kinton
Okonomiyaki - savory pancake
 
Konoha-don (fish cake, egg and vegetable over rice)
Daikon steak
Cold soba with zucchini and shiitake mushroom