Aoki Japanese Kitchen
- Eel Nigiri
- Salmon Aburi Nigiri
- Scallop Nigiri
- Unagi Don
- Dessert Platter for 2
It was a pleasant start with the range of Nigiri. Generously sized, the fillets of Eel were grilled to perfection, with a beautiful glossy glaze that made way for soft and flavourful protein. With a hint of sweetness, this was well accompanied by the fragrant sushi rice sitting underneath.
Despite their appearance, the Scallops were no less spectacular. Incredibly fresh, the scallops were soft and tender without so much of a hint of sliminess nor fishy sensation. We also enjoyed the Salmon Aburi. The lightly torched outer offered up a beautiful fish aroma, while the still-raw salmon provided a tender and silky smooth experience. With both served with a hint of wasabi and some light soy sauce, these fresh, simple combination certainly didn’t disappoint.
We also enjoyed the Omuraisu, which is a Western-influenced Japanese dish that has become increasingly popular. While arguably simple to execute, consisiting of omlette and rice, Aoki definitely brought this dish to a new level. Served on a hot skillet pan, pouring the thick, tomato-based demi glace over the perfect dome of omlette offered up plenty of smoke and sizzle. The slices of chicken topping the dish were tender and well-executed, well accompanied by the thin layer of silky smooth egg. Though we felt that the rice and the sauce itself needed a bolder tomato flavour to elevate the tomato sensations that this dish represents.
Our Unagi Don set was no less enjoyable. The same generously sized fillet of eel was once again cooked to perfection. A lightly sweetened sauce drizzled all over and was well accompanied by the fresh greens within. This was all soaked up by the round, fluffy beads of Japanese jasmine. Served with a fresh, Western salad and a flavoursome miso, this beautifully presented set definitely satisfied our tastebuds and hunger.
We concluded our meal with the Dessert Platter for two. While calling the platter a stunning presentation is an understatement, the taste certianly lived up to expectations as well. Our favourite from the platter was undoubtedly the Earl Grey Creme Brulee, which had a delicately brittle, caramelised top layer that gave way to a creamy and smooth custard with a beautiful tea aroma throughout. Another highlight was the matcha white chocolate sauce that carried an intense green tea flavour with just the right sweetness. All but one of the cakes on our platter were delicious. Our favourite was undoubtedly the raspberry slice, with a beautiful berry flavour throughout that was well matched by the aptly spongy layers, was well balanced by the creamy components. Another favourite was the banana and sticky date pudding, which was exceptionally moist and fragrant, with a beautiful banana flavour that permeated throughout.
Unfortunately, the Cheese and Matcha cake from our dessert platter was the biggest letdown. Despite the smooth and pillowy soft texture of the cheese, the cheese used within carried a savoury undertone, which was downright odd and certainly failed to complement the matcha components within.
Aoki has definitely found its niche in being the premier modern Japanese fusion eatery in Glen Waverley. With a clear emphasis on fresh, quality ingredients, which forms the cornerstone of Japanese cuisine, the items we sampled universally impressed.
While not strictly traditional Japanese, the subtle, modern twists thrown in undoubtedly worked in their favour and made for a satisfying meal – especially that dessert platter.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Sure! Fresh, tasty and affordable Japanese cuisine, it really doesn’t get much better.
Penguineats would like to thank owner Ray for inviting us to Aoki.