The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Scandinavian cuisine @ Aquavit, Tokyo

When we were in New York last year for a month, I had a long list of restaurants I wanted to try. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to visit all of the restaurants, and a certain Scandinavian restaurant was one of the ones we missed out on. Fortunately for us, there is an Aquavit restaurant right here in Tokyo, coincidentally opened in the same month that our little boy was born in. Rob and I were overdue for our monthly date, so two Sundays ago, we took the opportunity to enjoy our few hours of toddler-freedom by eating beautifully-prepared Scandinavian dishes at Aquavit.

The restaurant had a lovely spacious feel, with an elegantly simple and modern decor. It was comfortable, and we were given excellent service right from the entrance. There was a nice variety of options available during lunch-time service, with mains costing between 1500yen and 1900yen and it included iced tea, bread, salad (or soup) and coffee. There was also a Lunch Set option (2500yen) where you have the choice for the appetiser and main courses, and the cake of the day and coffee are served afterwards (bread and iced tea are included). Rob and I both got the lunch set because it was pretty good value.

Rob's Pickled Herring appetiser was simple but beautifully presented with fresh vegetables. The pickled fish was nicely tart with a slight sweetness. My appetiser was Toast Skagen, a Denmark-style shrimp salad on top of thin slices of crispy toast. We both really enjoyed this open sandwich, because the shrimps were juicy and perfectly dressed in a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce, and it complemented the crispy toast base really well.

Appetisers - Pickled Herring and Toast Skagen:

For his main course, Rob chose the Poached Cod, which was served with a butter sauce and topped with Norwegian shrimps and egg. He liked it, but I thought the fish was overcooked and a bit rubbery. Everything else was great, and the simple but rich butter sauce allowed the subtle seafood flavours to shine through.

Main Course #1 - Poached Cod:

I got the Gravlax Pudding (salmon souffle) which was just gorgeous! The eggy souffle was perfectly light and fluffy, and the tomato cream sauce went well with it. I only wish there was more salmon inside the souffle.

Main #2 - Salmon Souffle and its filling:

Dessert was Lemon Cake served with an extra rich whipped cream. It was a delicious accompaniment to our cappuccinos.

Dessert - Lemon Cake:

This was our first time trying Scandinavian cuisine, and we really liked it! Of course, I don't know if this experience at Aquavit is a good representation of Scandinavian food, but that just means we have to try out more Scandinavian restaurants!


  1. The food is scandinavian
    I don´t really know how i got to this page but i´m from Sweden and i can assure you that the food you ate actually is pure scandinavian. We have some really good food here :D
    MVH Emelie

  2. Re: The food is scandinavian
    Hi Emelie,
    Thanks for the assurance! I LOVE Scandinavian food, and I can't wait for the next opportunity to eat this cuisine again :)