Dubai has introduced me to a whole world of different cuisines. Love for food is one thing and but the passion for trying out different cuisines, something you have never tried is another. Last week, I was at the Ají in Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah trying out Nikkei cuisine. Nikkei is a confluence of Japanese and Peruvian food cultures. So you can expect a lot of South American influences here. Aji offers an amazing ambiance both indoor and outdoors. the indoors are very classy with tastefully done interiors while the outdoors offers you the view of the beautiful palm. We entered Ají and instantly fell in love with the place. We were welcomed by a group of smiling hosts who ushered us to our table.
We were offered bite-size portions of a lot of dishes here, let me just run through them. Ají is a word for chili and/ or peppers so you can expect a dash of spice in everything here. We started with a beautifully assembled cold tray which had Ají’s Especial Tiradito – Tiradito is a Peruvian dish of raw fish, here we had fresh raw scallops with ají Amarillo, hint of lemongrass and topped with tobiko ( fish roe). I’m not a raw fish person, but I gave it a try and to my surprise it was great. No fishy smell and the kick from the ají amarillo sauce was great. Miso Salad – Spinach roll with quinoa and garlic with a sweet miso dressing. Totally loved this one, I wouldn’t mind having some more of this. Cebiche De Salmon – Ceviche is basically a seafood dish made out of cured fish with a dash of spice. Here we had cured salmon, lemongrass garlic and mango for a little sweetness.
Maguro taco – Maguro is tuna in Japanese, these tacos were deep fried and filled with cured tuna, truffle oil, kyuzi ( Japanese cucumber), Yet another Ají hit.
There were 2 maki rolls served with this. We had the Veggie Maki and the Spicy Tuna Maki of which the latter was my favorite. Ají offers a full bar and a variety of great cocktails, we had the Fuwa Fuwa and Cinema Old fashioned. While Fuwa Fuwa is more on the fruitier side, the later is for the seasoned alcohol drinkers. Our next drinks were pisco-based, pisco is a Peruvian brandy which can be used in a number of ways. Pisco Punch and Shiso Sour were another two amazing drinks. We had some more food our way, this time we were served some Veggie Tempura – these tempura fried veggies felt a little short of my expectation. Veggie Anticuchos – grilled bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, artichoke with antichuchera sauce, chimichurri and aji panda. This came on skewers and had very intense flavors, a must try. Ebi Teppan – are basically grilled prawns with Japanese butter, a dash of chili served with caramelized onions. Tori Antichuchos – Grilled chicken served with teriyaki sauce with chipotle mayo. I can easily say that the grilled stuff here is beyond amazing.
We ended the meal with a nice portion of Yuzu Cheesecake. Yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit) flavored cheesecake was served with meringue and berries. Aji has become Dubai’s newest hot spot in no time. You cannot miss this place. The food is amazing, the service is on point and the ambiance is spectacular, and you have enough reasons to visit this place now.
Average cost for two: AED 600 (approx.) with alcohol
Address: Unit 6 & 7, Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai