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Saturday, October 8, 2011

[Hong Kong] Aji Ichiban (味一番)

22-28 Hillwood Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
山林道22-28號, 尖沙咀

Not to be confused with the popular Hong Kong snack chain Aji Ichiban, this post is actually about a Japanese restaurant! One of the more exciting aspects about being in Hong Kong for me, is having Japanese food. Literally being surrounded by water, there is an abundant amount of fish and other seafood, making it so affordable to have good raw fish! One of my friend's dad brought us here, and is a regular customer so he ended up making most of the ordering choices for the night.

Left: Assorted complimentary Appetizers, Right: Edamame

Some pretty interesting appetizers being served. Aside from the bean sprouts, the diced cubes of meat, and garlic cloves were an interesting experience.

Fish Jerky

This dried fish appetizer tasted really similar to chinese style pork jerky. Sweet sugary coating on the outside with a bit of salt. Not bad to get the saliva and appetite going!

Glowing Squid Sashimi

This little martini glass is actually filled with marinated squid sashimi. But it's no regular squid. This is actually the sashimi of a type of squid that glows underwater. Of course by the time it was served to us, it was no longer luminescent in any way. I'm not too familiar with this particular species and how it should taste, but I liked it. It was slimey, flavourfully marinated, and paired well with the crunchy cucumber slices.

Left: Sashimi platter, Right: Swordfish Sashimi

The platter of sashimi was a real treat of the dinner. It had a big variety of fish and it was so fresh! One of the more interesting pieces was the sword fish. Tastewise it was similar to that of tuna, but texture wise it resembled the texture of pork. Not as smooth as typical fish sashimi, and had more of the toughness that you get from red meat.

Sushi Platter

For whatever reason, I didn't enjoy this sushi platter as much as the sashimi, or sushi that you get in Canada. Perhaps it was the unfamiliar foreign fish variety, or the searing style, but I didn't care too much for this.

Deep Fried Shrimp Heads

This item wasn't actually on the menu, and was the result of a special request made from the shrimp heads of the sashimi platter. Ever since the first time I tried deep fried shrimp heads at Guu, I was addicted! The concept of eating a goop of shrimp brains may be revolting at first, but it is really tasty and in many cultures regarded as a delicacy. These ones were lightly salted, extremely crunchy, and still retained a lot of the fresh shrimp sweetness in it.

Top: White Wine Mussels, Bottom Left: California Roll, Bottom Right: Roasted Chicken Wings

Some of the cooked food that we ordered. The white wine mussels were quite good, but I did end up finding a couple grains of sand here and there. The soup base is relatively clean, to a point where I couldn't really taste any wine at all. I'm all for tasting natural seafood flavours, so I didn't mind the lack of flavour too much. The chicken wings took me by surprise though. It wasn't anything new and exciting, but it was executed well. The meaty wings were marinated deliciously and roasted to a point where it had crispy skin on the outside while still being juicy on the inside. I do appreciate a good chicken wing!

Left: Cream puffs and Ice cream swiss rolls, Right: Purple Yam and Mandarin ice cream

While the cream puffs and ice cream swiss rolls were good, I found the ice cream to be the better dessert this meal. The flavors of ice cream served here were pretty unique. They had mandarin, purple yam, and even cheese flavoured ice cream! The mandarin was very refreshing and had little bits of mandarin, while the purple yam reminded me of taro flavoured milk tea. Yum!