Lunch @ Aoki Restaurant [Revisit]

May 17, 2015 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

My most recent Japanese meal at a sushi-ya was more than a month ago! And in my dictionary, that’s not exactly recent cause I (normally) pamper myself with one such meal every month, at the very least. And so, when we were finally off to our (next) Japanese meal at Aoki, I was excited. Like yeah! Finally. Proper sushi. =p

Reservation is a must as the counter can only take 15 people at one seating. And thus, reservation was made for 3 people in advance by 1.5 weeks. There’re 2 seatings; 12pm and 1.30pm. We decided to go for the earlier time slot as 1 of us wanted to order Aoki’s mazechirashi. The barachirashi are prepared in limited quantity. So of course must come early.

Finding Aoki can be slightly tricky if one haven’t been to Aoki before. Located on the same stretch as units like Les Amis, the entrance to Aoki is only identifiable by Japanese letters. Which I’m assuming it’s the restaurant name. Duh. And after one pass through the draped cloth, one can’t help but feel slightly lost as one slides open the door on one’s right hand side as there’s no staff stationed permanently at the entrance to welcome confused first-timers to Aoki.

I fumbled with the sliding door (was pulling in the wrong direction. Oops) when a staff saw me and came up to me. And to get to the counter seats, one would be led down a short flight of stairs. This would be my first sitting at Aoki’s counter since I had been sitting in their cubicle for my past visits.

Priced at $115, lunch omakase entitles one to appetizer, sashimi, soup, grilled fish, tempura dish, sushi and dessert. However, I decided to customise it by requesting for ‘sashimi & sushi only’ omakase. On top of which, I went with $200 since I wanted premium ingredient. Although to be fair, I have not tried their $115 lunch omakase to know what’s served.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), we ordered:-

1) Omakase (jyo-sen), $200 comprised of:-

(A) Pre-appetizer, $6 (above) – Now, one thing that I can’t comprehend and stand is when I’m paying a significant amount for my meal, yet I am still charged for this (otoshi). $6 for a small bowl of vegetables? To me, it’s a rip off.

(B) Hotaruika sumiso (above) – Japanese firefly squid with vinegared white miso. Spring is definitely the season for firefly fly squid, and the ones served at Aoki sure were ‘fat’. Bite into the squid for an explosion of its innards. Pretty good. Although 3 would have been just nice. 4 was a little overkill.

(C) Murasaki uni (above) – Sea urchin. As we were given the best seats in the house (seated right in front of head chef Kunio Aoki), we witnessed the rock of salt being grated and sprinkled onto the sea urchin to enhance its sweetness. And the salt (that’s on the plate) looked like soft snow from afar. Ha. Sea urchin was good and creamy.

(D) Shiromi shio konbu kuro truffle (above) – Thin slice of natural white fish served with black truffles, sesame oil, lime and seaweed. And this is my all-time favourite at Aoki. I fell in love when I first had it 5 years ago, and it’s still as good after all these years! And coming at the correct season is key as this time, we were given sliced summer (white) truffles from Italy instead of the usual black. A must try!

(E) Katsuo sashimi (above) – Bonito fish sashimi. I liked how the radish sauce (kashidashi) and chives complimented the fish. Very refreshing and good. Am really glad we were given 4 slices (each) to (sufficiently) savour and enjoy the dish. Yum.


(F) Sushi (above) – We were given makokarei (sole fish), amadai (snapper), hiramasa (yellow tail), chutoro, maguro zuke (marinated tuna), otoro, kohada (gizzard shad), ebi (prawn), torigai (heart clam), shiromirugai (geoduck), anago (sea eel), bafun uni (sea urchin), negitoro-maki (minced tuna with spring onion roll) topped with bafun uni and negitoro-and-takuan temaki (minced tuna with spring onion and pickled radish hand roll) and tamago (egg omlette). And there’s many reasons to smile about the sushi at Aoki. I’ve started to pay more attention to the shari (sushi rice), and I liked that the vinegar taste was subtle without overpowering the delicate taste of the fishes. And I got to try more uncommon fishes like sole fish, gizzard shad, etc. However, it was odd that the dosage of wasabi was inconsistent. At least 2 pieces (of sushi) were too strong.


(G) Soup (above)

(H) Dessert (above) – Of the black sugar ice cream, orange pudding and mochi, I liked the mochi the most! So soft and chewy. Yum. The orange within the pudding was bitter.

2) Mazechirashi, $40 comprised of:-

(A) Pre-appetizer, $6 (above)

(B) Salad

(C) Mazechirashi (above) – Sushi rice topped with mixed sashimi. Served with miso soup and pickles.

(D) Dessert – Similar to what we had for our lunch omakase.

Did I enjoy myself at Aoki? Definitely! I always opt for counter seats when I go for omakase because I like watching the chefs at work. And head chef Aoki certainly did not disappoint. Although I have to say he looks pretty fierce and intimidating. Although he assured us that it’s his ‘busy’ facial expression. And busy, he sure was. Besides taking care of the patrons sitting in his section at the sushi counter, he was also preparing food for customers sitting within the cubicles, etc.

Service was good too. When it comes to topping up of warm drinks, I liked it when staff exchanged my cup (of warm water) with a new one. And taken from their website, one may want to take note that the minimum spending (per person) for dinner is $100 for Monday to Thursday and $180 for Friday to Saturday.

And for those who like to know what’s being offered in the (normal) $115 lunch omakase, one can read fellow blogger MakeYourCaloriesCount‘s review too.

1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #01-17, Singapore
6333 8015, Website
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sat : 18:30 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
* Closed on Sun
Service: 7