Sushi. For most people they might lick their lips and say yum, but they wouldn’t think of art as an automatic link. But that’s what good sushi is – an art form. At Aisuru Sushi presentation is key. Each dish is a masterpiece and the flavours only seem to highlight how truly incredible this place is.
Ever since this place opened I’ve been waiting to try it out; secretly following the reviews online and drooling over images that were being posted on instagram or urbanspoon.
So finally today I managed to get my chance to try it out. And boy did I love it. Firstly, lets go back to my earlier comment about the artistry of the food. It really needs to be focussed on because it is phenomenal. A lot of thought has been put into each menu item with dishes compiled in a way that stays true to Japanese traditional items while presenting them in a manner that lives up to its modern fusion twist.
When you enter Aisuru Sushi you’re greeted immediately with the option to sit at a private table or at the bar where you can overlook the chefs preparing the sushi as its ordered (nothing like freshly made). We opted for the bar, knowing that it suited our curious natures and our love of watching food be prepared.
From there the wait staff bring over an iPad to show you the selection of drinks you can choose from. No ambiguity here – you choose by image which means there really isn’t room for error. Excellent touch! These iPads are also used to record your orders when you’ve finished scanning the extensive and impressive menu. It gives you the option to review your order without worry.
With my group of friends, we ordered large.
Our mains arrived around the same time which was probably the only downfall of the meal – it wasn’t timed like a normal meal, but to be honest that didn’t bother me. I liked being able to jump between dishes to ensure my palate was constantly stimulated.
The first roll to arrive was the plum flower ($16.50 for eight pieces) which is the number one selling dish here. Chicken teriyaki and avocado inside nori and shari with tamago egg around the outside. This is finished off with a sweet plum sauce that is light and glistens on the plate in a tempting fashion. It’s a dish that is well constructed and plated masterfully. It’s the exact right combination of flavours and textures, and somehow is light to eat despite the rice. I want to bottle and steal that plum sauce, it belongs on and with everything!
From the starters section we opted for the sweet corn tempura ($9.50) and chicken karaage entree ($9.50). The chicken was tender and surprisingly large; accompanied by sweet egg omelette (tamago) and spicy mayonnaise sauce. Biting into it sent my mouth singing from the perfect blend of savoury and sweet; and the different textures to sort through.
The sweet corn tempura was definitely one of the best bites of the night. The batter was light and in perfect harmony to the corn itself. The truffle oil and aioli drizzled over the top made this dish really moorish and left me wanting more even though it was quite generous for an entree dish. Needless to say, I will definitely be ordering this again next time I go back to Aisuru.
The next roll that came out was the one I was really excited about trying – the Spider Roll ($18.50). Made up of fried soft-shell crab, cucumber, lettuce, nori and shari with black sesame seeds on the outside and wasabi mayonnaise. Really, really great stuff. Probably the dish of the night for me – especially because at each end it came with a giant claw for us to nibble on. And again, the presentation for this dish was sublime.
Next up was the Black Velvet Roll ($22.50) – given its name from the mounds of black caviar sitting on top. This roll has tempura prawn, seared tuna, cucumber, crab roll, nori, shari and spring onion. On top with the caviar is avocado and chilli mayonnaise. This dish is impressive – packed with flavour and seasoned to a tee. The prawns inside have the right amount of crunch to the tempura (without seeming oily) and the avocado is creamy.
Next up was the scallop and avocado roll ($18.50). No fancy name here and the dish was lovely enough – though in comparison to everything else ordered it was one of the plainer dishes. But the seared scallops on top of this crab and avocado roll were sweet and perfectly cooked – something not easily achieved for this fast cooking item. However since this place is based on impressive artful masterpieces, I’m not so sure this one delivered. The flavours were nice but I doubt I’d order it again based on the standard of all the others.
The last of our mains was the Caterpillar Roll ($17.50). This was Jeremy’s favourite for the night. Unagi eel and cucumber in nori and shari, with avocado, fish eggs and covered in both aioli and unagi sauce. This definitely had a magical quality to it. The roe popped salty juice into your mouth when biting on them and the eel was fresh and succulent. I’m a big fan of eel so I was pretty happy we ordered this as I know some people are a bit grossed out by the thought of it. But really if you don’t try it you’re missing out. Especially at Aisuru where its obvious the chefs respect the food and want to do right by their ingredients. The pool of sauces on this dish is great to dip your sushi in and soak up as much as possible.
We probably could have stopped here. We were leaning back happily at the bar, watching the orders made before our eyes and delivered to the full restaurant around us. The smells here are sweet teriyaki based and that mouth watering scent of fried meat. The decor is clean and modern with white walls and black marble inspired tops. On the till counter there are beautiful bunches of fully bloomed red roses and a bottle of moet which I’m not sure if it was for sale, but looked great on display. But just when we were about to mosey on to the register and pay, something amazing crossed our eyeline. And we just had to have it.
Its called the Banana Split Maki and yes, if you love fruit desserts (they’re my weakness), you NEED to try it. It’s six pieces of fried banana on toothpicks with kiwi fruit, strawberry and whipped cream. And rivers of raspberry and chocolate sauce to dip the fruit in. Yum! It’s completely decadent but somehow because its fruit you can’t feel guilty. So instead we dove in with so much gusto you’d think we hadn’t just eaten our weight in rice. It was the perfect way to end a perfect meal.
If you love sushi or Japanese flavours or even just pretty plated food, go to Aisuru Sushi. Or even if you like none of these things go anyway – you’ll be sold from the delivery of the first item ordered. I’m already organising my next trip there and can’t wait!