On a Saturday, after seeing The Darkest Hour with Gary Oldman in Times Square, we decided to eat in Hell's Kitchen with in mind an Asian cuisine. We stumbled upon Ajisai, a place we passed in front of many times, but that seemed to be always packed. We got lucky this time as only one booth was available for the three of us, my nephew being with us.
This is a nice place, with a nice atmosphere that fits perfectly to the neighborhood. The menu there is fairly big and I would even say, a bit overwhelming. Good thing though is that they put photos of some of the dishes, probably helping the undecided diner. On our side, we decided to share a bunch of appetizers. Here is what we had:
I started off by ordering a bottle of Asahi Dry Black, a very good dark ale that I never tried before.
The first appetizer was the pork gyoza, that were really good: the shell was delicious, and the filling delightfully fatty and tasty.
Next was the crispy calamari with sweet chili sauce, one of my favorite appetizers.
Black miso cod, good, although the fish could have been cooked a minute longer.
Age tofu, a fairly classic dish, made with tofu that is deep fried with bonito flakes.
Roti Canai, an indian roti bread served with a curry sauce, not so much of a Japanese dish, but always a crowd pleaser.
And the last appetizer, my favorite and definitely recommended: the "rock" of lamb. I am not sure if it is a typo as it was written this way on the menu and on the bill, but these little lamb chops were for sure rocking my world: they were perfectly cooked and very juicy. I could have eaten another serving and might go there to order two as an entrée.
Last was dessert. We decided to go with a green tea fried ice cream as my nephew Valentin never tried it, but unfortunately it was not as good as what we expected: the ice cream was good, but the shell was too thick and a bit soggy, not crispy. We should have gone with the fried banana...
Overall we had a good meal at Ajisai and I loved the fact that we could share a bunch of dishes. This is a good place to know after a movie.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Ajisai - 615 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036