Thursday, January 20, 2005

Food Place of the Day: Aja Asian Bistro

Aja Asian Bistro
1068 First Avenue @ 58th Street
New York

I've never heard about this place until the Female Love Bird found it on the website.

It turned out, that this Asian Cuisine/Sushi Bar/Lounge become the most amazing restaurant that I ever had a Birthday Dinner at.

The three of us, Myself and the two love birds arrived at the restaurant. Our first impression was..."What an ugly door!" And "Looks freaky" especially during the snow days.

But once we got inside, we felt as if we have arrived at some kind of temple. There was a Buddah statue right at the entrance, with bamboo decorations behind it. The walls and tiles were made of real stones. Stones of many different color and pattern.

The atmosphere was amazing.

Very calm, very soothing, and yet, Exotic.

(and of cousre, there was that cute Asian waiter who waited our table)

We sat at the inner table, right next to the "bigger" Buddah statue that was mounted above a man-made fishy pond.

The floor were made of stone tiles, of course. But right below the fishy pond, where the pond meets the ground, the have build a mini underground passage for the fish to swim. On top of the passage, was made of glass.

Did I mention their pot of Tea costed $3.00?! That was kinda expensive for a "TINY" pot.

But, the teapot itself, was a fest. It was metalic, with dragon design aroudn it... Quite heavy when I lift it up. But I think it was made for 1 person... Not three servings.

Anyway, let's move onto what we ordered.

For started, we got:

Seaweed Sald - It's just a regular dish of mixed seaweed. It tasted like seaweed.

Wu-xi Baby Ribs - Very tender and very delicious. The ribs were cooked so carefully, that even the bones were chewy. I'd definately recommand this dish for starters.

Golden Coins - It was shrimp cakes made with shiitake mushroom. And Oh-My-Gawd. It was fabulous. We've never tasted soemthing of such texture and taste. Very soft, very juicy, and very mouth-watery. If I ever go back go Aja, I'd definately order it again.

For Entree's, we ordered and shared the following:

Japanese Stone Grill - Well, it was actually written by its Japanese name on the menu, but I totally forgot what it was. It has the most unique setting for an entree. Basically, we cook it ourselves. The meat (we ordered beef) were served raw on the side. Then, we had this little stone stove with ltos of fire coming out of it. (See picture below) On top of the stove, we got this little flat stone that was burnt sizzling hot.

We first drip the raw meat in the special sauce (didn't taste special to me), and then cook it on the stone.

I have to say, the presentation was great for this dish, but the food itself, didn't impress me. (It didn't even come with side dish!)

Char-grilled Chilean Sea Bass - This was one of the recommanded dish made by the website. The female love bird ordered it. It was Sea Bass grilled with miso and sake, on top of veggies. The Bass was cooked perfectly. The miso sauce tasted sweet, and totaly brought out the taste of the sea food. The Bass meat had the melt-in-your mouth texture... Soft like snow. Hrmmmm... Delicious...

Mongolian Steak - I ordered this one, cause I like meat. Based on the menu, it is said that the Steak was cooked with Chinese Xiao-xing wine (a strong cooking wine) and 'aromatics' --- Well, I was expect it to be some sort of sizzling Sizzler-que steak. But I was wrong. The medium cooked steak was so tender, but I almost screamed when I chew it in my mouth. It has been a very long time since I had a steak *THIS* delicious. The veggie bedding was wonderful as well. I still couldn't really describe how the steak taste... But it was later voted by us three, to be the best dish of the night.

After the yummy yummy. The waiter brought out a place of something... With candles of them.

"Happy Birthday to you~ Happy Birthday to you~" started to fly out from the waiter's mouth. Then the two love birds joined himi.

I, well, I sat and smile and nod my head.

It turned out to be an ice cream biscut with chocolate shell and raspberry sauce on the side. The chef, wrote in chocolate syrup the word "Shou" - which means, "Birthday" in Chinese. (It's actually a word that is use more commonly for people over 50's than someone at the tender young age of 27)

I made a wish and blew out the candles.

"Wait, that was too fast. Do it again." Said the male love bird.

So, we re-lit the candles... And I posed for the camera.

It was an amazing night for me.

I will never forget it... Especially the part where I broke out in hives from whatever that I ate before the entree.
The allergy attack was pretty server. My arms were covered with tiny itchy bumps... Later in the evening at home, the hive spread though out my entire body.

I was itchy all over... But I knew better not to scratch or scream.

Earlier this morning, I woke from pain. I called work and left a message to let my boss know that my hands and feet were numb, along with burning thighs and itcy tummy. Then I made an appointment to see my doctor...

By the time I returned to the hospital, it was already noon.

I checked my email and found this in my box:

Aaron, you're the best! You made my itchy went away!

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