Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Aja (Albert Park)

On the edge of a cluster of restaurants including L'Oustal, Riccardo's and Nest at the Albert Park Hotel Aja has plenty of competition. The place is split level, understated with wooden tables, linen napkins, distinctly Asian style cutlery,

(as well as chopsticks), not very comfortable rattan cane chairs and a background of unobtrusive Asian style muzak.
The menu is small , (as was the entree) and shows SE Asian influence, a sort of Chinese fusion, with Malaysian style curry, coconut milk, lemon grass and light chilli tastes featuring.
We started with duck dim sum,

four very tender, moist and tasty dumplings, ($10.80) and a lightly spiced fried squid entree ($12.80)

which could have been crisper but was very good though quite a small serve. For mains an interesting sweet and sour pork belly ($27.80)
had a fairly well balanced s&s sauce, was less fatty than I expected and again could have been crisper. I very much enjoyed the Aja curry, with chicken ($27.50).

was a good size serve, quite delicately flavoured. We dank Coombs Pinot Gris ( $9) by the glass from a small, reasonably priced list. It was crisp, slightly dry and appropriate for the food.
Comments: This is a good suburban restaurant reasonably priced and well worth a visit. Entertainment book subscribers can get 25% off their bill up to $40
Score: 14/20

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