Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ai Japanese Casual Restaurant

Clockwise from left: Negitoro Temaki, Toro, Amaebi, Unagi, Tamago, and Hamachi

I was craving sushi tonight, and I definitely was not going to head to those horrendous Genki Sushi nor Sushi Tei chains, so we headed down to this new shop at the Quayside instead (60 Robertson Quay #01-04, 6733-1654). It is sandwiched in between Aburiya and Netsuretsu Ichiban-Tei, and (as I would find out later) is run by the Ichiban-Tei owners. In constrast to Ichiban-Tei, Ai's menu is mainly focused on sushi and sashimi, coupled with some noodles and a little bit of tempura and nabe.

Asahi Tarunama Biru and Daikon SaradaThe meal got off on a very refreshing foot, as the cold zaru soba and hiyayakko tofu upheld the clean taste demanded of them. The tempura was just a smidgen excessive on the greasy side, but it was still nice and crispy. The daikon sarada really impressed though, as it emanated a sesame oil fragrance and followed through with a little bit of a spicy kick in your mouth. Definitely get this if you come here.

The sushi was a bit of a bore to me though. I guess I was expecting even fresher, so I was a bit let down by the occasional limpness I found in some of the pieces tonight. At least the fatty taste of the toro tuna belly was a bit of a consolation. And hey - just like Ichiban-Tei, these guys also have Asahi beer on draft (yay!). Well, I'm definitely coming back here for the daikon sarada at the very least.

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