I enjoy Western styled dinners cooked by Japanese Chefs - despite them being not too authentic, they somehow manage to make them more appealable than Chinese chefs attempting the same dishes.
AJITOMI is quite unique in a way and probably the only one of its kind in Hong Kong!!
The main Japanese Lady chef cooks and understands food well and they carry 2 styles of cuisines on the singular menu. Half of it is Westernised mainly French items with a slight but probably unintended Japanese 'accent', the other half of the menu authentically Japanese based!
Personally, this approach should NOT be classified as Fusion Styled Food - put simply, it carries 2 separate food styles in one location, without merging them together. Perhaps the clue has always existed if one questions the Origin of the shop's name: 味 + 味 is the possible result of a 'word play' which the same 漢字, ’味’, is doubly pronounced in 2 different '讀音's' deliberately: one in normal Japanese 'Aji', and one is foreign based 'Mi'. The '+' pronounced as 'To' in the middle carefully separates the two words and styles to form Aji.To.Mi as a Dining Concept!
To me, it defers slightly from the likes of 酒處 & 八海山 or Nobu
, which all carry some newly invented items that combine ideas or ingredients from both Japanese and Western or Peruvian cuisines. Perhaps San San Trois
comes closer but that's more Japanese oriented, whereas Sodeyama
remains predominantly Japanese except their meat items.
****************************** COMPULSORY STARTER -
Like most Jap or Chinese restaurants, they charge you for this. Here I was given a Cold Spaghetti appetiser with scallops, black olives, zucchini, carrots and onion slices. OK I guess. Probably costed around $20-30, can't remember. OSAKA PORK TSUKUNE BALL -
This is suppose to be one of their signature Japanese Kushiyaki's. Its combined with some Onions and diced Konnyaku jelly cubes to give it a special texture! The sauce was very good, the grilling was perfect. I liked this a lot, especially the slightly fruity, sweet teriyaki sauce. CHICKEN TSUKUNE SKEWER WITH CHEESE -
If there was anything Fusion that night, this was it! I've hardly had cheesy tsukune items before so was curious. The cheese wasn't great though and not gratinated as I'd expected. The sauce within however was authentically Japanese, definitely. Not aware of soft chicken bones within.CHICKEN WITH CHEESE -
Similar but not minced unlike the above, I remember I ordered this deliberately as a comparison with the Chinese-chefs run Yakitori Houses' offers, where they always carry this item! This was aromatic and great with my beer. Its a bit different from the ones I have tried before too!SEA URCHIN SPAGHETTI -
This is an Italian Dish but which sits equally well in a Japanese restaurant's menu in a sense, since both countries love Urchins. Real Italian ones are minerally and quite bitterly fishy, the one infront of me was more approachable and the sauce smooth creamy. I think the urchins were great but the sauce lacked the core ingredient's oceanic taste - there wasn't enough urchin essense to penetrate into the al dente but commercial pasta strands.... But having said that, most Japanese cooked urchin pastas taste like this. This is better than the SML version which I ate many weeks after this meal.SLOW COOKED OX TONGUE -
Unlike the ubiquitous yakitori-grilled Ox Tongues which I love to death, its much rarer to find Japanese slow-cooked Ox Tongues locally, but in my past experiences with Jap cuisines they are always experts with this part of the cow, whereas Western or even Chinese cuisines slow cooked Beef Cheeks or Tails more. The only other shop I've eaten this at so far was 炭姫, since that shop offers Sendai cuisine, famous for Ox Tongue dishes. I remember eating this in Osaka as well somewhere? Note: I can't remember if the menu said this was slightly cooked in a French manner or not, or if the sauce on top was Miso based - since this was a while ago. I just remember it was cooked really well and I enjoyed it ! 雞釜飯 (25 Min Wait) -
This is another dish that I haven't seen much elsewhere so I ordered this dish, considering its cooked-to-order I guess its suppose to be pretty edible! Interestingly, in lots of touristy HK 煲仔飯 restaurants, the Japanese translation is written as 釜めし(釜飯), so they're close relatives!!
Where they differ is obviously the Claypot vs Cast Iron Pot, also Japanese 釜飯 is cooked in 'stock' with ingredients mixed into the rice already. Its just a higher end (五目)炊き込みご飯 in disguise I guess? The chicken stock based rice came with carrots, chicken, shiitake mushrooms and burdock roots (牛蒡), a typical combination. I found this version to be slightly salty that night, probably with MSG, but otherwise highly enjoyable for $75!
**********************SUMMARY - Really liked this restaurant and I liked the slightly feminine touch by the chef here, if anything, next time I eat here I will order Red or White Wine with my meal rather than Beers or Shochu's! Equally, you can visit here just for their Japanese Yakitori's and Onigiri's and some Sashimi's and completely disregard the Western '味-Mi' part of the 味 + 味 equation, I saw a Japanese gentleman doing just that and kept hogging the toilet after too many beers!
Ranging from around high '3' to low 5', depends what you order!
Starter Pasta Salad...
Osaka Tsukune Ball is Delicious!
Chicken & Cheese Tsukune Skewer. Cheese not good.
Another Chicken and Cheese Skewer. This's better!
Slow Cooked Ox Tongue! Fork Tender...
Sea Urchin Pasta...What You'd Expect in Japan. Ok+
Chicken Hotpot Rice
Close-Up: Result of 25min Patience! Bit Salty..
Spending per head: Approximately HKD250Other Ratings:
Value for Money 3