If you’ve ever had the opportunity to dine at Aoki and only rated it a 7/10 (or below), I wouldn’t hesitate to hazard a guess that you went for the set lunch and actually haven’t a clue of how good the food can be there! Here’s the thing, set lunches are a means for restaurants to make some extra money, it’s not meant for their chefs to showcase their finest offerings… So if you’re thinking of hitting up Aoki, do yourself a favor (and the restaurant a little justice), and let the chef show off what Aoki has to offer. I can guarandamntee your tastebuds will thank you.
To be entirely honest, I can’t even name half the items we had as we left it up to the chef to prepare the menu for us, but they went something along the lines of:
Giant edamame, water lily with a coddled egg, fish liver pate, uni with white prawn topped with caviar, carpaccio of white fish with black truffles, some kind of grilled fish, a selection of sashimi, and the epic wagyu beef bowl with more truffle.
Aoki seems to have sidestepped the main thing that makes running a Japanese restaurant outside of Japan difficult as all the ingredients are air-flown in daily, keeping them in the best condition and extremely fresh.
I’d say my favorites were the fish liver, carpaccio, uni, and the epic wagyu beef bowl. I have dreams about this beef bowl. The fish liver is rich and smooth and very tasty. There was a very healthy truffle-to-fish ratio in the carpaccio, and the dipping sauce was delightful. Uni, served fresh, can be served all on its own – though the sweet prawn was a nice addition and I would never say no to caviar. The wagyu beef was seared to perfection, topped with a generous layer of thinly sliced black truffle and served over sticky rice with a soft boiled egg. Just writing that last sentence has my saliva glands in over drive.
This isn’t the type of place you’d hit up every day – or even every month really. But it’s great for a special occasion, or when that bonus comes rolling in, or if you really, really just need to have that beef bowl.
1 Scotts Road