Asian cuisine represents a diverse repertoire of flavors ranging across China, India, Japan, Vietnam, and many other regions. Not yet the most explored of cuisines in Boston, diners now have the opportunity to experience such flavors at the newly founded popup at Wink & Nod. From Boston Nightlife Ventures, this restaurant partners with local chefs to showcase their concepts in a semi-permanent manner.
Setting up shop in their South End hotspot, Akinto, by chef Patrick Enage, is the third in what has been a successful series of pop-up concepts. Whisk and Bread and Salt Hospitality each had their own 6-month engagements in the space to much acclaim, leaving an opportunity for Akinto to drum up a following of its own.
Drawing on the richness of pan-Asian cuisine, chef Enage combines flavors to create a menu of street food from countries like his native Philippines as well as China, India, Japan, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Arranged in sections starting with small plates like their bahn mi sandwiches, shrimp bao, and dumplings, diners can then augment their dishes in volume with swordfish belly, 18-hour pork belly, and shrimp with squid ink lo mein. For the more adventurous and hungry diners, the whole branzino with long beans is an absolute must. Perfectly cooked and seasoned, it is arguably the best dish on the menu.
The menu is created to encourage sharing and sampling, the best way to experience the most of this unique and creative culinary subset. With other Filipino and Asian inspired pop-ups (like sibling venture, Pamangan), Akinto represents a growing niche of interesting flavors not yet popularized in Boston.
Wink & Nod is a wonderful place to stop by for a cocktail, and the addition of a unique dining experience crafted alongside the cocktails makes for an even more coveted experience in Boston’s dining scene.