Aoki Restaurant

Decided to visit Aoki Restaurant after seeing many articles/posts/instagrams with comments that they have a good value set lunch. Being an impromptu decision, I walked in at around 1.45pm without reservation hoping that the diners from 1st seating would have finished their round. Luckily they still have seat for a solo diner, but with the condition that I must finish my meal by 2.45pm whereby they close for break. Point noted…Express lunch in a fine dining restaurant. I thought their website says last seating at 2.30pm?!

Although I was seated at the counter, I still sensed that the place was pretty packed as I could hear the noise from the private rooms. Even at the counter, there were several conversations on-going amongst diners. Frankly it wasn’t the kind of ambience I was expecting in a Japanese establishment that even has a no child policy. Perhaps because my previous lunch were at establishments that only offer Omakase meals, the ambience was relaxing and zen. People engage in private small talk kind of conversations instead of here – people are chatting as-if they were at Izakayas…I would be pretty upset if I was here for Omakase during lunch to face ambience…

Ordered the Mazechirashi set and I was happy that the serving speed was lightning fast. The colourful bowl of mazechirashi appeared even before I could finish the otoshi and salad.  The neatly cubed tamago, octopus, tuna mixed with ikura, uni etc. scored perfect marks for presentation alone. The portion was also pretty filling, even for a gal who hadn’t eaten breakfast since morning.

Aoki Restaurant_01

In  a race against time I gorged down the rice and the miso soup included in the set. Once they cleared my bowls, a cup of Genmaicha was promptly offered in anticipation of the upcoming desserts.

Desserts came in a beautiful box tray with 3 bite-sized items: pudding, ice cream and a piece of sake-jelly. A generous variety for set meal that usually only comes with a measly scope of ice-cream at other eateries.

Although the quality of food was good, I didn’t quite like the ambience and crowd. Comparatively the newer Sushi Jin (also by Les Amis Group), offers a better ambience (at least for now when the place is still not crowded), albeit a smaller portion don and plain dessert.

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