Aja – a taste of Asia
A Journey to Asia will change the way you eat
Albert Park is a bit spoilt when you think of all the fantastic places to eat, fortunately we are a short walk to this hot spot and it’s a lovely balmy Sunday evening when we drop into see all the lovely peeps at Aja.
It’s been a regular haunt for us over the last few years and though the ownership has changed a little the high standard of the food and the quality of the menu haven’t wavered.
It’s a bit of a fancy spot to have BYO but it only makes us love them more and spend more on desserts! We get comfortable with a Limited Release Vermentino from Brown Brothers, crisp and fresh it’s going to go well with all those chillies!
We start with the oysters a la natural – 6 Oysters served in the Aja sauce with Wasabi, the shells are filled with garlic, chilli, soy and a good hit of wasabi that is fantastic, the oysters are so fresh and melt in the mouth and sauce is a bit hit of heat that I love!
One of my favourites each time we visit is the Aja spring rolls, pork with mushroom, spring onion, carrot and wood fungus. Wrapped in thin rice paper, deep-fried to serve with fresh lettuce, mint, Asian herb and lime juice fish sauce. They are wonderful, very light and fresh and without the hard crunch of the more Chinese spring roll, these are delicate and delightful. Wrapped in a fresh leaf with the herbs and the sipping sauce they are a must have!!
The fried squid in spice salt was good, a good sharing entree portion of lovely fresh calamari in a more spicy blanket coat rather than the crunchy sort.
Another fantastic dish is the Buddha’s Delight – A combination of stir-fried fresh tofu, mixed mushrooms, wood fungus and fresh vegetables.
Plenty of goodness and low fat
Every girls dream! It is a wholesome dish with comforting soy flavours that make you feel all cosy and warm inside!
One of the most understated dishes on the menu is the ‘Steamed mixed grain brown Rice’ It is not just brown rice! Its a fantastic mix of barley, corn and brown rice in a soy / stock binding that makes it a dish in it’s own right and a great accompaniment to the rest of the dishes. Just a bowl of this and the Buddha’s Delight and you have a most healthy take away in the world!
Our final dish is another regular on our table at Aja the Honey pepper eye fillet, a serving of Prime eye fillet grilled to medium rare and topped with a honey and black peppercorn sauce is a star! The meat is fresh, soft and there is hardly any chewing required! The sauce looks a lot but it has great depths of flavour with a subtle sweetness and a great richness that works with all other elements to generate the yummy noises we love to hear!!
As I said, BYO means that you must have dessert! There’s always a bit of the bottle to finish and the ‘Retro Banana fritters’ are too good to go past. It was obviously meant to be as there are three of us and three of them! As Aja say, “Bring back the old time favorite served with King Island double cream and golden syrup” whhhooooppppiiieeee!! Are you sure you want the other two?!
The Sticky black rice pudding with Mango is a seemingly healthy partner to enjoy with sweet sticky rice and gentle sweet mango.
Hazelnut Delight is our final dish, sweet light pastry wrapped around a nutty filling, it’s another great dish from the guys at Aja!