Have you ever tried bone marrow canoes or lavender honey quail legs? If given the chance, would you? These dishes and so many others with names and ingredients I struggle to pronounce are coming to Yankton's Meridian District, and I couldn't be more excited. Akasha World Kitchen's menu is stacked with unique flavors, foods and drinks that will allow you to experience cuisines from other countries and cultures without even having to leave town.
Founder Robert has always been passionate about the art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food. He has traveled around the globe, tasting dishes and building a library of his favorites. He has over 40 years of experience in the culinary world, has owned restaurants in other cities, and is bringing his favorite foods to us to share.
An Opportunity Presents Itself
Why Yankton? Robert is originally from Menno, South Dakota, just down the road a bit. While recently visiting this area to "check the weather", he met building owner Paul Lowrie. Robert decided that the available restaurant space would be the perfect opportunity to create a dining experience that transcends borders and embraces the diversity of global cuisine.
Robert knew he couldn't do it alone. He knew that if he wanted this adventure to be a success, he would need some help. Enter Andrew and Rayne, a couple from Hartington, NE who gained valuable experience in the fine dining arena during their time managing The Globe Chophouse restaurant in Hartington. They jumped at the chance to build an amazing dining experience from the ground up and agreed to join Robert in making his dreams a reality.
Akasha World Kitchen plans to offer dinner, lunch, appetizers, desserts, Sunday brunch, and a full-service bar. As Robert puts it, "It's not fancy, it's just normal food to someone else somewhere else in the world." Wednesdays will be Italian night, with a dedicated menu that goes well beyond typical pasta dishes. Sunday brunch features plates such as lobster tail in champagne sauce, Vietnamese lemon grass spare ribs, and crab tian. Lunch will have a variety of sandwiches, starters, soups and salads. A few that I'm looking forward to trying include the BLTA with wild boar bacon and quiche Lorraine. And what has me the MOST excited are their crepes, both savory and sweet. Seriously, this menu is AMAZING. I can't do it justice and recommend you head over to www.akashaworldkitchen.com to see if for yourself. Don't get too attached to the menu, though, as it sounds like Robert has plans to change it up quite frequently to bring a wide variety of options to you!
The bar will offer beers on tap, a wide selection of wine from around the world, and liquor options for all tastes. Red wine will be cooled to the perfect temperature, craft cocktails will be featured, and unique bottled beer selections will once again fill the impressive cooler wall.
What Does Akasha Mean? Why the name AKASHA? What does it mean? Robert explains that it's a Sanskrit word meaning primary substance, ether, or sky. It is the ancient concept of the fifth element that exists between everything that is of the physical universe. Akasha represents the ethereal substance that connects and harmonizes all other elements of nature and symbolizes the essence of creation, where everything begins. Robert, Andrew and Rayne hope to bring together diverse flavors and culinary traditions from around the world for Yankton to enjoy.
Located at 104 Capital Street in Yankton, Akasha World Kitchen will give new life to the gorgeous dining space that was previously home to River's Edge. From large windows and natural light to a cozy indoor fireplace and outdoor fire pit, the space will continue to be a draw in and of itself. You can take a seat on their patio and soak up the views of the Missouri River. If it's chilly, relax around the outdoor firepit. Inside you'll find walls of just windows that let the natural light flood in, and a cozy fireplace to set the culinary mood.
One of the best things about Akasha World Kitchen is that you will find something for every budget and tastebud. Yes, they have high end beef Wellington. But they also offer buffalo hot dogs for kids and fettuccine alfredo for the less adventurous taste buds. They're ready to open their doors and hearts to the Yankton community, and I highly encourage you to stop in and see what your new favorite food might be! Happy dining! - Amy Bailey