Ajitoya keeps things very simple, and like there's joy in repetition (according to Prince at least - mind you he was probably talking about something less salubrious ... the purple minx!!), so too is there in simplicity.
Where once we threw caution to the culinary winds, these days we reflect a little more carefully on health considerations and ponder the devious machinations of calorie counts and carbohydrates, serving to waylay us at every turn on our quest for flavour and satisfaction.
Or in other words, we had to forgo the plate of karaage or homemade deep fried chicken (damn!) and opted for the agedashi tofu instead.
This was 2 pieces of silken tofu lightly fried and immersed in a sweet dashi broth and topped with some pickled radish. In one word, amazing. This is what the japanese do best. Everything clean and clear, japanese food is draino for your gut.
We followed this up with one of their meal sets, the tonkatsu. Juicy pieces of battered pork nicely seasoned with the usual complement of raw and pickled veg and a large splodge of japanese mayo. The set also comes with a serving of rice garnished with sesame seeds, a bowl of lightly flavoured miso soup absolutely brimming with ingredients and your choice of salad. I chose the chicken with wasabi - brilliant.
Fresh, light flavours, and unlike its chinese counterpart, seemingly devoid of fats and oils. A welcome addition to this part of town indeed and one that I hope will last the distance.
PS ... recently had to visit Auckland once again for work, but this time managed to sample some of the delights of this wonderful city. If you're out and about late afternoon round Aotea Square, check out happy hour at Box and have a glass of red or white ... its NZ$5 and let me tell you, this isn't your usual house plonk of rubbish, the wine we had was stunning.
And if you are looking for snackage and a glass of champers, you can do worse than at Mezze Bar in the city. The signage isn't very promising, but traipse up the stairs and you're in a whole new retro world that is almost European in context. We had a really great Sileni bubbly and some pretty amazing food.
View from our table at Mezze Bar
Fetta Cheese drizzled with lemon juice and chilli served with turkish bread - the chilli hints were fantastic
Gambas Al Ajillo - superb garlic prawns!!