Aki Japanese Restaurant
1368 W Pender St
J: If there is one thing Victoria as a city lack, that is an authentic Japanese restaurant. Ed and I had to cross the water just to sample some delicacies after I did some research and found this place. Ed listened to me dribble with excitement over our impending meal on the ferry ride over, and I don’t think this time you will hear Ed complain.
E: I doubt eating crab is considered part of an everyday meal. This trendy restaurant kicks a lot of concepts in what is considered Japanese style high dining up to sinfully pleasurable levels. I’d say this establishment is deserving of at least two Michelin stars! I’m glad that we popped into this city for a prolonged trip just to reacquaint ourselves with what we’re missing from big city living. Not since going to Whistler or Seattle (combined) have I found a comparable restaurant. At Aki, Spring has truly arrived and the waitresses are cute too. Technically, Aki means Autumn, and I was prepared to try to impress the ladies with the limited Japanese I knew.
J: Translation: Ed wants to date a Japanese girl. The real desire was to finish that crab shell dish which came with a well-prepared egg (baked perhaps?). From a deep rich flavour to the other end of the taste spectrum, I never thought I would love Ika Natto (raw squid with fermented soybean) but I did. Don’t get me wrong, I love squid but the soybean had me thinking twice. But after mustering my courage (and I paid for the damn thing), I rather enjoyed the fermented flavour mixed with fresh squid.
E: Surprisingly, James did not like smell like the beer that he spilled. I ordered Asahi Black and I gave him the evil eye when he knocked the bottle over. Even in a five-star restaurant, he’s still the clown, intentional or not. To savour a truly imported brewed beer (in what’s left of that bottle plus an additional one) certainly made my meal all the tastier. The beer went well with the various chicken bites I had, namely the gizzard and liver. The former had a delicious gator-like crunch to it that I could not quite place.And no Japanese Restaurant can pass my scrutiny until I tried their maki and nigiri combos! Have mackerel will travel! (I should have ordered some but by then, I was feeling full).
J: After finishing off my Tako Sunomono salad (which had the right amount of lemon flavour), I helped myself to the main meal of Ten-Don. The batter was fluffy for the tempura and ingredients tasted fresh. I did have a problem with the sticky rice. It just didn’t do anything for me.
E: There’s a joke somewhere in there that I could make, but I think I’ll stop picking on him. I was in a good mood. The variety and flavours were there for the raw fish that I had. I will always opt for the raw than cooked when sampling a restaurant for the first time. But this time, I did both since my visits to the mainland are few and far between.
In this case, I’m willing to make a yearly pilgrimage to this destination, perhaps for the next Fan Expo Vancouver event, just to try everything this restaurant offers.
5 Blokes out of 5