[Shanghai] Aoki 橼舍鮨青木
橼舍鮨青木 Aoki | Dianping
Address: No. 115 Tai’an Lu, Unit 9 near Huashan Lu / 泰安路115弄9号(近华山路) <new address updated as of 2016.12>
Date visited: 2014.11 for lunch
Price: Omakase lunch RMB¥680/980 or dinner RMB¥1280/1580
Will return: Definitely
Chef Aoki-san and backer Anthony Chong have brought the taste of Sushi Ichi from Ginza Tokyo, which holds 1 Michelin star, to Shanghai with their new omakase restaurant Sushi Aoki 橼舍鮨青木 (“Yuan She” in Chinese). In order to attain the highest quality standards for diners, everything is flown in from Japan with highly coveted ingredients acquired through trusted suppliers or won at exclusive auctions with their Sushi Ichi connections. The restaurant, currently capped at 9 seats, orders ingredients for the next day depending on the number of reservations; therefore, bookings must be made at least 1 day in advance. Chef Aoki-san got his hands on the same uni (sea urchin) as Jiro today. Legit.
Sets are RMB¥680/980 for lunch or RMB¥1280/1580 for dinner. My meal below was the RMB¥980 lunch omakase. The prized uni alone pushed the meal to the higher price tier. It seems the sushi game in Shanghai easily exceeds RMB¥1000 per person and I suppose that is the standard pricing these days. A meal at Sushi Aoki will surely make your wallet bleed a little but it is worth it because the quality is simply indisputable. An impeccable meal with Chef Aoki-san.
Trio of small dishes to start.
The zucchini flower is picked from the garden outside the restaurant that Chef Aoki-san grows himself.
Chef Aoki-san grating fresh wasabi. Chef Aoki-san is an extremely kind and soft-spoken man and will strike up conversation with patrons. He is fluent in both Chinese and Japanese, very approachable, and happy to chat about anything.
A sushi omakase typically starts with sashimi first followed by nigiri with rice–a light to heavy flow of courses.
Tai (snapper). Robust and lightly torched.
Hokkigai (clam) eaten with a tad of salt. Crispy and sweet.
Sanma (saury) flown in just this morning. Really like the intensity of its flavor.
Ultra creamy shirako (codfish milt). Shirako is codfish sperm sac and its texture is similar to cow brains. Pure heaven.
Wagyu beef eaten three ways: with truffle salt, with wasabi and dark soy sauce, and with radish. Extremely tender and marbled melt-in-your-mouth beef.
We were joking with Chef Aoki-san that the employee meals at the restaurant must be amazing. So Chef Aoki-san gave us a taste; one of today’s dishes was batter fried wakasagi fish. I could eat 20 of these with a bowl of white rice. Can I work here?
And now begins the nigiri.
Chef Aoki-san torching a piece for another patron.
Sardine topped with ginger. Intense flavor. A pleasant discovery during this meal.
Uni (sea urchin). A highlight during this meal and the reason why we came today was because the previous day we heard Chef Aoki-san had gotten the same uni as Jiro.
Uni stacked to the top. Sweet and creamy with a dash of taste of sea.
Toro (fatty tuna)
Ikura (salmon roe). Fact: the harder or more bouncy the roe (in this case), the fresher it is. Softer ikura is not as fresh.
Eel two ways: with sauce and with salt
Tamago (egg) to end a perfect meal.