Monday, March 12, 2018

雅吉 Aji [MGM Cotai, Macau] - Opened by Maido, Pellegrino's No.1 Restaurant in Latin America & No.8 in the World

 Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura of MAIDO in Lima, Peru, is currently voted as the Top No.1 Restaurant in Latin America in 2018, and also placing a highly No.8 in the S.Pellegrino's World 50 Best list. Recently during February 2018, MGM Cotai Hotel and Casino finally opened the sister shop to Maido, called 'Aji' on this side of the world in Macau.  Aji means Chili in the native language, as well as Flavor in Japanese, reflecting on Chef Mitsuharu's Peruvian x Japanese heritage. Over here at Aji Macau, the Chef and team is also serving the Nikkei Peruvian-Japanese cuisine,  and there was so much anticipation that I came here twice myself last week.  Rumor has it also that Chef Mitsuharu might open another restaurant in Japan soon,  which could also well be in the proposed MGM Casino Complex in Osaka side...

Mushrooms & Green Asparagus with Curry -
A simple but nice starter.  Which I ate twice here..

Octopus Pulpo Antichucho, on Peruvian Causa-style Purple Potato & Olive Emulsion -
This is a Peruvian grilled street snack concept, but combined together in an elegant fashion, together with the Causa potatoes.  Crispy from the charcoal grill and aromatic,  this got off to a flying start ~10/10

Usuzukuri 薄造りof 平目 Hirame Sole today.
Shipped in from Japan side, Peru Rocoto Chilli, Tomato Concasse, Garlic Chips -
Upon asking some questions, apparently the Seafood here are mostly imported from Japan, but the Scotland sourced Razor clams I spotted too.  But almost the rest of the ingredients are imported from Peru directly.  The base ponzu like sauce with a twist, was spot on..  8/10

Wagyu Beef Sushi with Quail Egg, injected with Ponzu - MOP 98
A very Nikkei style Peruvian-Japanese dish. Great for weekend brunches too ! Here you can taste the Wagyu Beef properly and the Egg Yolk has a gel consistency, which fits the nigiri more ~ 8.5/10

秘魯牛心片 Anticuchos de Corazón inspired Peruvian Grilled Ox Heart Tiradito.. with Lentil Ccapchi, Avocado, Spicy Oil & Ponzu sauce MOP $138 -
There were options of either the Ox Heart, or a Sweetbread nigiri item.  I opted for the Ox Heart this time,  because it is also a popular street snack 'Anticuchos' concept in Peru,  but this time it was made into an almost Japanese cold appetizer dish but using the same concept.  ~ 7.5/10

Aji Amarillo Cebiche, with Tiger’s Milk, Sea Urchin, Abalone, Cancha Toasted Corn, Cebiche Jelly, Calamari & Prawn, Avocado & Aji Amarillo Chili Nitro. MOP $198 - 
A nice concept and a twist on the Peruvian Cebiche, which that is also available here. Truth be told, I thought the liquid nitrogen Tiger’s Milk and Aji Amarillo was quite freezing cold, and numbs your senses slightly for customers to really detect the Fresh Seafood sweetness underneath! I did therefore wondered if I might prefer this to be served with a lesser-temperature contrasting, just a normal Tiger’s Milky sauce lining the bottom!  ~ 6.5/10

Crispy Suckling Pig, Carapulcra Stew Cream, Peanut Praline,
Yuca Root Sopa Seca noodles Chincha style -
A Latin-Spanish inspired Peruvian dish this time, with hints of some Mexican side Influence... This was cooked really well for me, the Pork Skin aromatic, the slightly spicy Carapulcra cream worked well with the Yuca Cassava noodles. For me ‘Sopa Seca’ is also ironic in a descriptive way, coz literally it means ‘Dry Soup’, which the noodles can also come in a soupy format as well in Mexico side.  The significance of this dish, Highlights the complexity of the past Colonisations and Immigrants that went in and out of Latin-America, the Caribbean’s and South America countries but remain traceable.  This recipe is one of the rarer dish offerings here which isn’t Nikkei Peruvian x Japanese based, but Latin American x Peruvian x Spanish.  Don’t forget that the Spaniard explorers also entered the Philippines around the same time as they did colonised Peru in the early 1520’s, within basically the same decade 500 years ago, so some recipes in this past colony definitely stretched all the way across the globe with similarities.  *And then at virtually the same period, there was also the Columbian exchange as well   ~ 10/10

Signature Dessert Cebiche - 
Lime Ice Cream, Peruvian Corn Powder, Sweet Potato, Aji Limo Chili Macaron,
Dragonfruit & Tangerine pods Nitro... MOP $88  ~ 7/10

70% Ecuador-Peruvian border Chocolate, Lucuma Ice Cream,
Yuzu, Bahuaja nuts, Cacao Nibs & Mochis - MOP $108A must order dessert here, using the currently trendy Ecuador-Peruvian chocolates, which some of them are an indigenous Cacao DNA. Lucuma is also a local Peruvian Fruit, which luckily I have access to too at home in HK. A very lovely dessert and we ate a similar version 1-2 years ago as well, also done by Chef @mitsuharu_maido ~ 9/10

Peking Duck Sushi Nigiri - MOP 98
I was jokingly asking the Macau and 3 Peruvian Chefs here from MAIDO Peru, if this is considered ‘ Chifa cuisine, which is the other lesser known Peruvian x Chinese cuisine we don’t often see in Hong Kong-Macau side. There are many Chinese & Taiwanese immigrants in South America too, and Chifa is more Chinese inspired in Peru. They have Wontons, and also Arroz Chaufa (Cantonese 炒飯 , or Japanese チャーハン ), which as a Hong Kong Cantonese person you would question why this concept arrived all the way here to Peru?  But when I was working in South America, this was a common sight too. There is an item called Hong Kong Nasi I ate all the time, which is a South American/Indonesian/Dutch version of Hong Kong fried rice!  Overall over my 2 visits to here by myself, and also this isn't my 1st time trying Maido's food, I think this meal is one of the more sensational openings for the Hong Kong & Macau food scene.  But remember to book a table in advance here!

Price: Around MOP $400~600 Per Person + 10%
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address: 路氹城體育館大馬路美獅美高梅GM層
GM, MGM Cotai, Avenida da Nave Desportiva, Coloane-Taipa
Phone: (853) 88062308 


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