Aotoya – The Blue Door

Aoto-ya Blue Door Japanese Restaurant 青戶家 on UrbanspoonSo a while back, Tenhachi, my favourite and most authentic Japanese restaurant closed down (see post here of Tenhachi). But they reopened at a new location. Unfortunately, although I had seen ads and heard my friends going there, but because it was somewhat afar from where I lived, I didn’t get a chance to check it out – until now.

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the interior. Fluorescent lighting, torn booth benches taped together with duck-tape and overall was not a comfy, warm atmosphere. We were a little skeptical at first because we were the only ones in there, but by the time we were about the leave, it was almost full house.

idearabbit-aotoya idearabbit_aotoya_1idearabbit_aotoya_2 Sukiyaki don with miso soup $10.95

idearabbit_aotoya_4idearabbit_aotoya_3 Sansai Udon $9.95

I would have loved to order a teishoku, but since I wasn’t really feeling all that hungry, and I wanted something refreshing and light, I ordered the Sansai Udon $9.95 which had mushroom, ferns and vegetables. Sheepie ordered the Sukiyaki don with miso soup $10.95

The Sansai Udon was really good. Some might say it’s a bit on the bland side, but I prefer things that are light, so it was perfect for me. The ferns made the dish feel healthy. The udon was ‘good’ udon. Not those $1 udon in a pack that are super thick and white – cheap to buy and low in quality. These are smooth, actually tastes good and just goes down really quickly.

The service was fine. However, if I didn’t know that it was Tenhachi, I dunno if the Sansai was enough to make me want to return again. Not that the Sansai was bad or anything, but the overall atmosphere and experience wasn’t all that wow. I dunno, but it seemed a bit depressing…which does affect the food. I will have to go back and try the teishoku for another assessment :) Will continue…

Second Time

Back to Aotoya for the second time. This time, it was jammed packed so we had a bit of waiting time. Food is excellent. Very authentic Japanese food. The restaurant, as I have complained before needs upgrading. It’s a bit worn down and you can really see it on your way past the tables to the restrooms.

idearabbit-aotoya5I ordered the Chicken Karaage Teishoku $13.95 (for Dinner). Each teishoku (set) comes with a kobachi side dish, pickles, a bowl of rice and special miso soup.idearabbit-aotoya6

Sheepie’s bento looked really nice, though I guess you are paying double the amount of a cheap, lower quality restaurant. California Roll Dinner Box $13.95 – tempura, chicken/beef teriyaki or chicken ponzu, seaweed salad, deep fried daily special (in this case, he had karaage and a spring roll) and special miso soup.

idearabbit-aotoya7We were there on a weekend, and we had no idea that there was even a promo for getting a free dessert. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, if you order more than $20, you get a complimentary dessert! It was a nice surprise. So I ordered the Strawberry Parfait – nice small portion for not getting too much sugar. Delicious and cute size.

 Taste: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot     Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrot    Service:  carrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrot