29 (Mon) September 2014
(Literally) Golden Sushi
-Cheongdam, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family, LHS and YYH
The Prodigal Son Returns to Pay His Respects (Day 3 of 3)
In town for the weekend to care of a few random personal matters.
Aoyama is a Japanese restaurant. High end, private rooms only. While the menu does offer some à la carte items, the emphasis is on various full course sets, more or less the same in structure, starting with small appetizers, followed by sashimi and sushi and other delicacies, ending with tempura and noodles/rice, the main difference between sets being the premium of ingredients (e.g., cut of fish) involved. On weekends, the restaurant offers the lunch course for dinner, all the goodies at half the price. Something of an institution, the establishment has been doing steady business in the same unassuming back alley location for over 20 years.
My family has been acquainted with the owner for nearly 30 years. At first, we got to know him back in the late 80s when he was the head sushi chef of a restaurant that we used to frequent. Eventually, he opened Aoyama on his own in the mid-90s. By coincidence, soon thereafter, my parents moved into a house a couple blocks away, where they lived for several years, during which time they were regulars at the restaurant, me too whenever I was in town. Since my parents moved out of the neighborhood over ten years ago, I can recall visiting Aoyama just once, prior to this evening.
The food remains excellent. The owner was so happy to see me, and even happier to learn that my son, who hadn’t yet existed at the time of my prior visit, had grown up to develop a fondness for Japanese cuisine, that he went out of his way to prepare a special course meal for all of us. He even sprinkled gold flakes on a piece of sushi. Good to be back.
As mentioned in a recent post (5.250 Assorted Sushi), Manila lacks good Japanese cuisine, especially sushi/sashimi, so I should try to visit Aoyama more often, whenever my short schedule while in Seoul permits.
(For more details about the food, see WHAT)
(For more details about the venue, see WHERE IN KOREA)