Food Reviews

Asian Aroma – New addition to Pheekay Pakwaan

This time I was put at a spot where I was excited and expecting highly of Asian Aroma, a newly launched restaurant by Park Plaza. We started with appetizers and were looking forward to trying Teppanyaki and Chinese cuisine.

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Appetizers

  • Chef’s special/Hot and Sour Soup                 PKR 750/-
  • Jumbo prawn tempura                                   PKR 1475/-
  • Wasabi chicken                                               PKR 1195/-
  • Spring rolls                                                      PKR 550/- (6 piece)
  • Poocha                                                               PKR 750/-

Soup had a very average taste and Jumbo prawns were jumbo for real in size but with the first bite you could almost taste the mushy thick layer of coating which killed the taste of prawns altogether. You can get away with wasabi chicken which was crispy, tender and has right amount of wasabi. Poocha was basically appetizing kebabs of ground seafood very light on your stomach.

My recommendation would be just skipping the appetizers as they are not worth your appetite.

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Teppanyaki

  • Tori Chicken Supreme             PKR 1390/-
  • GYU Beef Tenderloin               PKR 1499/-
  • TAI Red Snapper                      PKR 1595/-

Then we moved to live station placed right next to our table for Teppanyaki show. Teppanyaki (teppan-yaki) is style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan, which means iron plate, and yaki, which means grilled, broiled, or pan-fried. So, it basically means ‘grilling on an iron plate’ which includes all kind of meat, chicken, seafood, vegetables, rice etc.  

This style of cooking uses fresh and flavorful ingredients along with light seasoning. Usually served with fried rice, vegetables, sliced crispy garlic or simply with soy sauce dip.

The Chef was ready with his tools and ingredients to put up his show for us and we were ready with our phones to capture his every move.

The demonstration was standard for all main ingredients: Meat, Chicken and Fish

  1. Chef started with fresh undercut beef chunks/Chicken/Fish, seasoned it with olive oil and lightly cooked from all sides and set it aside for slow cooking on the hot plate.
  2. Simultaneously, he put butter on the hot plate to melt and added good portion of thinly diced garlic to fry till its lightly golden.
  3. Next, he added the garlic paste to the meat/chicken/fish and skillfully chopped, diced and flipped it to fully cook it.
  4. Seasoned the meat with ground pepper, sea salt, lemon juice for fish only, Soy sauce and Togarashi spice throughout this process. Togarashi means “seven-flavor chili pepper” which is very common Japanese spice blend of typically seven ingredients:
    • coarsely ground red chili pepper (the main ingredient)
    • ground sanshō (“Japanese pepper”)
    • roasted orange peel (Chenpi)
    • black sesame seed
    • white sesame seed
    • hemp seed
    • ground ginger
    • seaweed
    • poppy seed

By the time food was served I was feeling full already from the aroma during the cooking process. The meat undeniably was tender but it came out as bland which was surprising given it had lots of garlic, Togarashi and cooked in butter. Specially, fish itself had no taste and was overcooked.

Garlic is the trickiest ingredient to work with.

While it was prepared, I kind of cringed when the chef put in a huge portion of diced garlic because personally, I am not a huge fan of garlic in general for its intense flavor that makes it tricky with the quantity you are playing with. As it can either subdue the whole cuisine’s flavor and leave a bad breath or add an enjoyable taste and smell. In this case they used freshly diced garlic and overcooked it to a level where it left a sweet taste to the whole dish. Typically, in Teppanyaki, crispy sliced garlic is used which is lightly fried in butter for few seconds and served as a side not cooked with the meat.

In my opinion, it would be great if the chef can start with an oral exhibition, introducing the ingredients they have in the lineup and how it is prepared. So, customer can anticipate and is able to communicate with the chef to complement just how they want their dish prepared. This way customer can also limit the type and amount of seasoning and oil they want in the dish. And whether one prefer beef, prawns, or chicken, this will sure leave them filled and satisfied.

The main recommendation would be to train their Chef to be more charming and skillful as Teppanyaki is combination of a cooking style and art. Given it is live cooking station, essentially it ought to be equally engaging and educating to capture the essence of it. 

Chinese

  • America Chopsoey                 PKR  750/-
  • Chicken Chowmien               PKR  550/-
  • Khao Pad Gai                           PKR  550/-
  • Chicken Cashew                     PKR  895/-
  • Beef Oyster Sauce                  PKR  850/-
  • Garlic Rice                               PKR  490/-
  • Egg Fried Rice                         PKR  500/-

Last nail to the coffin, we had also ordered Chinese along with Teppanyaki which happened to be the biggest mistake as we ended up having more than we can chew on our tables. However, I tasted few of the dishes and will basically conclude as not the worth trying.

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Sushi and Dessert

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Overall, it was unexpectedly a huge disappointment from a well-known brand. My recommendation will be for a self-grooming session for their Chef to make live cooking more artfully engaging and informative. Prices doesn’t deliver the quality customer deserves to relish.
Nonetheless, staff is courteous and ambiance is clean and peaceful. I would rate my whole
experience 6/10

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