I read many good things about Aoki (especially the value-worth set lunches) and had wanted to visit this Les Amis Group managed Japanese restaurant for the longest time. I was not able to get a seat twice but P & I got third time lucky when we successfully made a reservation for one of our secret Wednesday lunches!
Aoki means “blue tree” in Japanese – interestingly, when we read the characters in Chinese, it means “green tree”. P & I do not know Japanese but we have a brunch of nice Japanese colleagues who always help with the translation.
The entrance adopted a minimalist design but once we walked through the sliding door – we were transported into another world. There were many Japanese customers which is always a comforting sign of an authentic Japanese restaurant.
The box seats in the restaurant were definitely at the counter. Watching the sushi chefs preparing our meal was a theatrical experience. Our chef (Wai) is definitely a good multi-tasker – one second, he was grating the wasabi and the next second, he was slicing the cucumbers & dicing the sashimi. Your meal will be ready before you know it!
There were several set lunches options and we ordered the Mazechirashi (limited bowls per day), Nigri Sushi Jyo-Sen (Sushi platter) & Chawanmushi with Truffles.
Salad was included in the lunch set. The greens tossed with wafu sauce were fresh and appetizing. The salad was also aesthetically pleasing with its bright, bold splash of vibrant colors which reminded me of summer.
CHAWANMUSHI with truffles – The smell of the truffles was tantalizing when we lifted the lid. I believe that the chef added in a tad of truffle oil on top of the freshly shaved truffles to further enhance the smell/taste. The piping hot egg custard was executed flawlessly – smooth with no air bubbles. P, we so need to order individual portions the next time!
Mazechirashi (Sushi rice topped with mixed sashimi) – The chirashi was the best I ever had! The amount of sashimi is overwhelming (imagine – sashimi 2/3, rice 1/3) – I spied the chef piling on chunks of tuna, aji, swordfish, ikura, uni, tai, toro etc. He then generously topped it with tamago squares, crunchy Japanese cucumber, shredded mayoga (ginger flower) & a dollop of freshly grated wasabi. Each mouthful was exploding with its exquisite flavors.
Nigri Sushi Jyo-Sen (7 types of sushi & 1 sushi roll) – There were hits and misses in the sushi platter. Overall, the sushi tasted average which was disappointing coming from Aoki. The only sushi worth mentioning is the ikura sushi. The chef added freshly grated yuzu skin on the ikura which was a pleasant surprise.
DESSERTS TRIO (From left, anti clockwise – Egg pudding with caramel sauce, Sesame ice cream & Umeshu jelly) – The perfect ending to a wonderful meal. My favorite dessert was the umeshu jelly – i can taste the sweet Japanese liqueur in every bite.
Overall, Aoki did not disappoint. The food was of very high quality and the service was impeccable. It is no wonder that lunches are always fully booked. Reservations definitely required – and I hope you will get first time lucky instead!
Tel: +65 6333 8015 (Reservations Required)
Add: One Scotts Road #02-17 Shaw Center, Singapore 228208
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat, 12pm-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm
Spend: $52 Per Pax