Eating Across Asia
At Carrigaline’s Aroi
|Gyoza (Aroi pic)
I had visited the new Aroi Restaurant in Carrigaline when it opened a few weeks before Christmas and had promised myself I’d go back to continue eating my way across Asia.
|Nasi Goreng (Aroi pic)
Not too difficult to do that here in this impressive space as the wide-ranging menu features dishes from Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. Menu headings include nibbles, starters, soups, and salads. Mains include Signature, Rice, Curry, Stir Fried, Grilled, Wok Noodles. Sides of course and yes they do desserts as well! Full bar and a long cocktail list as well.
Was in the area last week and decided to call in and do some more “research”. It wasn’t the best of nights outside on the main street but the restaurant was well heated and there was a warm welcome from the staff.
Soon we were seated in one of the comfortable booths and studying the menu, avoiding any dish that we had eaten on the first visit. No shortage of starters available, all reasonably priced between six and seven euro.
We had enjoyed Gyoza, Japanese pan-fried dumplings, in Electric a few months ago so I picked the Vegetable Gyoza (Japanese crispy gyoza filled with vegetables, carrots, cabbage). An excellent opener, full of flavour and enhanced by spicy sesame chilli dipping sauce (€6.50).
|Udon Noodles with seafood
We moved on to Korea for our other starter: Yangnyeom Chicken is Korean style crispy (Chicken drumettes, seasoned with sweet and spicy gochujang sauce, spring onion and sesame seed). A more substantial starter (7.00), very tasty indeed and again the sauce, the gochujang sauce, did the business.
By the way, we can recommend the starters from our first visit, the Porpia Bpet Tod (Crispy homemade Duck spring roll served with sweet chilli) and the really excellent Kajang Satay (their authentic recipe from the town of Kajang in Malaysia, Chicken thigh meat skewer marinated with local spice served with peanut sauce).
|Kajang Satay (from first visit)
Now, we were up and running and looking forward to our mains. Most of these are under fifteen euro except for the signature dishes which range from 16.50 to 20.00. Previously we loved The Teriyaki Salmon (Baked sesame-crusted Salmon Teriyaki on a bed of wok-fry Asian green vegetables, ginger, garlic garnished with pickled ginger).
Amazing how they (Asian restaurants in general) always seem to get these green vegetables spot-on. Also the flavourful and aromatic Isaan style Crispy Roast Duck. This was Sliced half Duck cooked to perfection, bedded on top of those marvellous Asian green vegetables with tamarind sauce.
On this occasion, I struck “gold” with the Kuala Lumpur Nasi Goreng (17.00). It is very well presented with the Malaysian spicy fried rice with Prawns, Chicken, chilli paste, mixed vegetables, building quite a dome in the middle and topped with fried egg; it is served with Chicken satay skewer and Prawn crackers.
CL meanwhile took her time as she savoured every little bit of her Seafood Yaki Udon (Wok fried Scallops, Prawns, Mussels, Squids with Japanese Udon noodles, ginger chilli paste, green beans, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, scallions and toasted sesame seeds). A top dish indeed for 20 euro. Total bill, excluding tips, on a no-drink night was fifty two euro. Good food, friendly service and good value we thought. And still more regional Asian dishes left to explore on that menu!