Les Amis' Aoki at Shaw Centre is widely known for its impressive sushi and sashimi, and so it's no surprise that this establishment has been on quite a few of the bloggers' "to-go" lists. Me, I'm not so much a sushi fan - in fact, I don't even eat it save for the plain inaris - so there was somewhat of a brief hesitation on my part when my colleagues suggested we head there for lunch. Glancing at the online menu I was prepared to unashamedly order loads of tempura, but after some deliberation I decided to go all the way and indulge in some solid beef.
Saga Beef Bowl with White Truffles
When I meant go all the way, I really mean go all the way - $123++ for this bowl, that's what we're talking. I'm not accustomed to splurging that much on a dish, I would rather save up to feed that insatiable wanderlust of mine to be honest, but I have to admit that there was something about this Saga Beef Bowl with White Truffles that intrigued me. And since you can't really love someone without loving yourself first, let's do some of that loving right now.
You're not going to find this baby on the menu, but it's available upon request. Hailing from Kyushu's smallest prefecture Saga, the Saga Beef is recognised as one of the most premium of Japanese beef (along with its equally renowned counterparts Kobe and Matsuzaka) and features a perfect marbled blend of fat and tender lean meat. Best to have it at medium for maximum satisfaction, or medium-well if you would want it more pink than red.
Aoki does an extremely good job with this expensive cut, so good that each slice almost melts in your mouth with just a single bite. And with White Truffles being in season, add it all in for good measure and I can guarantee that you would be rewarded with quite a treat of flavours. I must reiterate that going $110++ for 100gm of Saga beef is not something that I'm going to pull off again anytime soon, but if you've got the moolah and wanna do some self-loving, go on ahead.
Since my beef bowl did not exactly fill me up (you shouldn't expect it to anyway, unless you have a small appetite), I ordered the Tamago as a side to do the deed. This sweet Japanese omelet was really quite amazing - soft, smooth and with a natural sweetness that's ridiculously addictive. Lovely.
Sashimi, Nimono, Tempura, Yakimono and Sushi set, served with Miso soup and dessert
A colleague of mine was more than willing to let me have a few quick shots of her Shokado set, which I must add turned out more filling than it looks. She enjoyed it quite a lot and had much praise for the items in her little bento box. The rest meanwhile were having the popular Mazechirashi set, which had sushi rice topped with mixed sashimi and (that oh-so-delicious) tamago.
Excellent. If you're in a small group of six, I would suggest you ask for the lower-level private room (note: a higher "cover charge" of $5++ - compared to the usual $3++ - is imposed per pax). Make as much noise as you want with the door closed, good food tastes even better with great company anyway. If you're in an even smaller group of four, I heard the ground level booth seats are quite comfy too.
$110 for the Saga Beef Bowl (normal)
$123 for the Saga Beef Bowl with White Truffles (seasonal)
$38 for the Shokado
$35 for the Mazechirashi
* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.
Orchard Shaw Centre, #02-17
Opposite Pacific Plaza and HSBC Bank, Tanglin Branch.
Silver specks on the pictures are not a result of photo-editing, but rather the shine from the food. My i4 tried its best :)
Pictures taken with the Apple iPhone 4.