Being a foodie is great but sometimes you go through a spell when everything is starting to taste the same. For me this is a little depressing. I begin to wonder; ‘Is this it for food? Will I not be surprised again?’ Sure it is great to get a originally presented meal but sometimes, the combinations of flavor, texture, temperature and aroma all blend in to being much of the ‘same old same old’.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do love re-experiencing some new flavors (aka the Chocolate cake at B-House) but I am always on the lookout for something new and heartfelt in my dining.
Just as my wife and I were sharing these thoughts our appetizers arrived and everything changed…
On a whim, we had decided to dine at aiai.
The restaurant aiai, in the heart of Numazu city is so very rare place where the chef is not afraid to experiment with new combinations of flavors and food. You can really taste the love here.
Our smoked bacon, pickled vegetable and salad proved to be a great combination of colours and flavours. In one direction the appetizer evolved from salad softness to crunchy pickled vegetables to crackly bacon. While at another direction the progressive salty flavors sort to create another degree of unity.
For our mains I chose the ‘Herb Chicken with Tomato Sauce”. This meal was a treat. The skin on the chicken was cooked crisp while the subtle herbs cause surprisingly enhanced the flavor of the chicken rather that hiding it. However my wife’s choice was the best, Sea Bass with Japanese Caramel Sauce. This was the bomb diggity. The mild creamy sauce with what tasted to be a hint of anchovey pasted was the perfect mix for this fresh tasting fish. The little surprise what the half dozen or so baby beach muscles (we call em pippies in Queensland Australia) and button mushrooms resting in the sauce. Scrumptious.
Having chosen the appetizer, main and dessert set. I was then greeted with a dessert platter of Blanc Mange, fruit, cream and two selections of cake.
Their selection of shandy mixes caught my wife’s eye and she chose a cassis and beer mix that tasted quite nice.
We certainly swallowed out words that night.
Location: aiai This is has bee updated on 16 April 2011 to correspond with their move.
Style: Fusion restaurant
English Menu: Yes they have an English Set menu but the menu does not have its full selection nor does it provide an English Wine list.
Picture Menu: No
Gaijin Friendly: Yes
Prices: For an appertiser and main set 1500yen and for an appertiser, main, dessert and coffee 2000yen
Hours: 11:00-14:30, 17:00-22:00