I’ve come to realise that even amongst mid-range Japanese restaurant chains, there are some good ones, and some really not so good ones. Akashi at VivoCity was a pleasant surprise, but Aji Tei at the basement of Takashimaya was a downright disappointment. We were there on Saturday, and were deliberating between trying Al Forno’s makeshift stall that was set up there for a 2-week Italian Fair, and the Aji Tei restaurant nearby. Had I known that it was part of the Ajisen Ramen chain, I might have had second thoughts, but based on the photos in the menu, we decided to go with Aji Tei.
Deceived! The food was nothing like how it was represented in the photos. Almost everything was disappointing; the best dish for me was the chicken wings with a sesame and barbeque sauce. The scallop sushi, which was supposed to be part of the Hokkaido promotion, was tasteless and the scallop was watery, a sure sign that it had been frozen and thawed.
The black pepper grilled pork was by far the most misrepresented. The photo made it look succulent and luscious; in stark contrast, the pathetically few slices were tough and tasted like poorly-cooked poolside BBQ. The mini salmon don was just that – mini, with some of the thinnest slivers of salmon I’ve ever seen. The salmon sushi sampler that A ordered was just ordinary.
As you can see, I’m in a grilled fish head mood, after my experience with the yellowtail collar at Akashi. Unfortunately, the salmon head here fell far, far short. The salmon was under-salted and didn’t really have any flavour at all, and the bowl of rice that I ordered was nothing like the one at Akashi either – it was soft, slightly mushy, and tasteless.
Give this place a very wide berth, given all the other dining options in the vicinity. And don’t be conned by the photos in the menu, either.
Except for my salmon which was passable, everything else was disappointing. Don't be fooled by the low prices; portions are incredibly small.
Takashimaya Department Store