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Aoki Restaurant @ Shaw Center

12:00 PM , , 0 Comments

Aoki is a household name that holds fond memories for me, being one of the first Japanese Restaurants that I have wanted to patronize in the days of Sakae Sushi and Sushi Tei. A minimum two week booking period is advised if you have a preferred table in mind, otherwise, walk ins usually get you obscure corners or far from the sushi table, depending on the night's traffic.

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Aoki hospitality.

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Aoki-san was infront of me handling some of the sushi courses. It was a great privilege to see him work. 

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Otoshi ($6)

Bowls of stewed fish were placed infront of us without any mention they are chargeable. Uncool move by Aoki and they were a tad fishy but I loved the braised flavours.

Omakase ($180)

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Three other appetizers quickly followed soon after in the order of spring vegetables, fish mousse that could be passed off as foie gras and slippery silver fish that I get so much joy eating - bulbous translucent things with an occasional explosion of juices.

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A sashimi platter with all my favourites presented at once was more than just a gastronomical affair. Tuna belly in two kinds, sweet prawns, scallops and ark shell are just a few of the delicious.

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Very fresh and served with freshly grated wasabi, it was so good that lime was unnecessary.

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Crabmeat and vinegar jelly was such beautifully presented, I felt like royalty eating this - without having to care about deshelling the crustacean. Wonderful taste notes here.

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Possibly the most exorbitantly priced fish soup here. The clear soup broth packed a mighty punch of sea and fish - I embraced them all, bones and skin.

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A simple fare of silver promfet brushed with teriyaki sauce and grilled, served with seasonal greens. The sweetness of the fish and succulence of the fish is unforgettable, if every fish dish I ate tasted this way I would be a huge fish fan by now.

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The tempura course was very enjoyable too, the batter was so light and each mouthful was crisp.

I was looking forward most to the sushi course, Aoki does it with a thick sliver of fish more than sufficient to cover the rice and finishing it in a single mouthful is a challenge - I love the feeling of having the mouth full of fish and rice waiting for the flavours to coat the palette.

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The personal favourite goes to the Aburi Tuna Belly, an unsurmountable kind of joy with the oily finish - umai.

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Sea urchin that I never ever get enough of.

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I could get lost counting all my delicious sushi courses and right down to the maki course, I was pleased as punch. It was just so good.

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Anago always signals the almost nearing of the course and tamago gets served promptly.

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I thought their tamago was a tad stiff though still capturing the essence of the sweetness and spongeyness of one.

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Miso soup for the hearty finish.

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My first attempt on a vegetarian sushi with just radish and seaweed.

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Desserts served up with cherry blossom, tofu and black sesame in a plate. Hate the icicles to no end yet the cherry blossom was such a pleasant flavour, I wish they tubbed their icecreams for sale!

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I find it odd that even in these higher end Japanese restaurants the waitresses would choose to speak in a smattering of chinese and dialects than bother with the Japanese pleasantries - not that I understand a word of it but it does mar the experience slightly. There were inconsistencies in service with different people serving us and not everyone bothered enough to explain the dish leaving me dumbfounded at moments.

There were junctures that I felt I was rushed into finishing my omakase - if there were two seatings for dinner I definitely was not aware of it.

Aoki does have alot to offer for food, and like Les Amis does excellenty well with seafood except the service needs some polishing. Unfortunately or not, Sushi Mieda and Shinji by Kaneseka do exceed interms of service. They are possibly run like by an un-Japanese management trying to be marry two cultures together but that being said, it was one night I would remember for a longest time.

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I cannot wait to be back!

Set menus start from $180. 

Aoki Restaurant
Shaw Center

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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