If looks could thrill: Aji’s Nikkei fare tastes as good as it looks

Acclaimed Peruvian chef Mitsuharu Tsumura combines Japanese techniques with spicy Peruvian cooking

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 April, 2018, 12:55pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 April, 2018, 12:55pm

Overseen by acclaimed Peruvian chef Mitsuharu Tsumura, Aji is the only Nikkei restaurant in Macau, serving innovative dishes which live up to their visual appeal.

The restaurant in the new MGM Cotai overlooks the impressive digital arts on the high definition LED displays and enjoys an abundance of natural light flooding in through the massive transparent ceiling.

We began with a selection of nigiri sushi, which provides an apt demonstration of how chef Tsumura extends the boundaries of traditional Japanese food by combining Japanese techniques with spicy Peruvian fare, as he did in his restaurant Maido in Lima, Peru, ranked number 8 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list 2017.

For instance, the wagyu sushi was topped with a quail egg which was injected with ponzu, a citrus-based Japanese sauce; the o-toro sushi was added with rocoto chili and ponzu; and foie gras sushi was served with eel sauce. The spice and sauce elevated the flavour of the sushi which was delectable and perfectly prepared.

We then tried carretilla ceviche, a classic Peruvian marinated seafood with fried calamari, and sanguchito, steamed bun with grouper karaage, creole salad and tartar sauce. These two seafood delicacies were fresh and savoury.

Our main course, short rib 50 hours, was delicious. The kagoshima beef short rib was slow cooked for 50 hours and served with nitsuke sauce and crispy garlic. It was accompanied by creamy native potato with rice or naan, egg yolk and Aji gel.

We also loved the cebiche and amador desserts. The former, a lime ice cream-based dessert, was refreshing; the latter, made with 70 per cent Peruvian cacao, was irresistible for chocolate lovers. Lee Wing-sze