I have been acquaint with many new cuisines in the recent times and this one is quite special and thanks to Aji for introducing me to the Nikkei cuisine. Nikkei cuisine is a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian styles. Nikkei cuisine has its origins in 1889, when thousands of Japanese workers immigrated to Peru to work on the railroads. Some stayed on in the country, creating dishes based on the ingredients at hand. Over the years, as more and more Japanese corporations and immigrants settled, Nikkei blossomed. Years ago, the Peruvians would just throw away things like octopus and eel, not knowing what to do with it, When the Japanese arrived, they taught the Peruvians how to use all that fish.
About the outlet,We were welcomed by the staffs Ms. Nisreen and Mr.Juan Carlo to the restaurant and the vibe there was splendid. It is situated in Palm Jumeirah at Club Vista Mare. They have both indoor and outdoor which is facing the beach.. Aji Amarillo is a main ingredient in their dishes.It is a chilly grown in Peru which is quite a flavorful one.
We started with Aji Edamame. Edamame is immature soybeans in the pod which is then boiled and served. Here at Aji it is given a twist by sautéed in red curry, soy sauce and sesame seeds. It was spicy and flavorful.
Next was a set of cold starters, We had shake Taco which is Crispy tacos filled with cubes of salmon marinated in Aji Amarillo,Togarashi and coriander sprouts. The filling was wholesome.
Cebiche Limeno- This is a new one for me in which small cubes of sea bass well soaked in lime and salt were served with onions,sweet potato.
Another favorite dish of mine was Aji Especial which is Hokkaido scallops served with lemongrass,Aji Amarillo and black tobiko(kind of fish eggs)The flavors were mystifying but a good one.
Ajiru Salad-Duck meat is dried and used along with usual salad ingredients such as lettuce,baby carrot,cabbage,orange and tamarind.
Nigiri in Aji style- A type of sushi consisting of a small ball of rice, smeared with wasabi paste and topped with raw fish or other seafood.One was Maguro foie gras which is tuna along with teriyaki and wasabi.Another one was made of flounder along with black quinoa,Aji Amarillo and coriander.
The drinks were mainly fresh tender coconut and mocktails.
Among hot starters,Gyoza which was one of the best I have had.The filling was made of sirloin steak,Aji Amarillo , onions and tomatoes.The sauce which accompanied it complemented very well.
Ebi Tempura –shrimp tempura battered in purple corn and fried.The shrimp was super soft and crispy at the same time.It was served along with a spicy sauce.
Aji Anticuchos-beef in anticuchera sauce and wasabi chimichurri.Beef was very tender and spicy for my taste.
For the main we had Pan grilled sea bass with octopus,squid served along with a rice cutlet. Sea bass was cooked to perfection and it well complemented the sides.
Ebi Teppan – Prawns fried in Japanese butter was flavorful.
For the sides we had Yukitas which is basically tapiocas cooked and fried which is then served along with a sauce. I have had tapiocas before but the texture and taste was quite different from what I had.
They do have some dishes for kids as well in the menu.We got our son Grilled chicken and mashed potatoes.He loved it as it was tender and juicy.
For dessert, we had the much loved Sticky rice which is a traditional dessert item among majority of Asian cuisine,along with coconut,mango,sesame seeds etc. My all-time favorite!! Chicha Morada was the next.It is basically dessert made of purple corn ,lychee,white chocolate and so on.Desserts here at Aji deserves a special applause.
Our journey at Aji was overwhelming and everyone who likes to explore new dishes should definitely try it out.