ANIQ – Your Ultimate Asian Feast (SSAM)

Newly opened in the Roncesvalles area is ANIQ – a restaurant sharing East Asian cuisine with modern culinary techniques. Owner and chef Eric Oh wanted to highlight his culinary inspirations of Korean, China and Japan and combine it with western cooking techniques. The menu at ANIQ offers a wide variation of all 3 East Asian cuisine throughout the entire menu. On weekend afternoons, the restaurant offers ramen for guests. They recently launched their SSAM – The Ultimate Asian Feast. Essentially, their SSAM is a 6 course tasting menu in a sharing platter form which requires a minimum of 4 people to order.

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The 6 course tasting menu includes:

(1) Beef or Tuna Tartare
(2) Arugula Halloumi of Calamari Salad
(3) Ssam Platter
(4) Brussel Sprouts or Broccolini
(5) Fried Rice or Glass Noodles
(6) Desserts: 1 piece of cake per 2 people

With the different options on the tasting menu, Chef Eric Oh opted the following items which have been really well received.

Tuna Tartare 
yellow fin tuna loin, soy sauce sake dressing, sesame ginger, Asian pear, endives, sake pearls, edamame guacamole
– this is one of the best tuna tartares I’ve ever had. And yes, those sake pearls were made in house. All the different components in this dish (the sweetness from the Asian pear, the bitterness from the sake pearls, the soy sauce dressing on the tuna and the edamame guacamole) really brought out all these different flavours which made this so good.

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Arugula Halloumi Salad
halloumi, baby arugula, honey, truffle oil, balsamic caviar, grapes, toasted walnuts
– I loved the combination of the lightly fried halloumi giving it a crispy texture on the outside with arugula which was offset with the honey and truffle oil. The grapes were roasted and complimented really well with toasted walnuts giving this dish more crunch.

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The world “ssam” means “wrap” in Korean. You take a lettuce as the wrapper and use any ingredient to be the filling, usually proteins. Ssam is a widely accepted casual dish in Asian culture and the potential for its variability is limitless.

The components of the feature includes:

Korean beef short rib (aka Kalbi) with house Tare borderlaise
Sous vide duck breast with orange Tare butter glaze
Miso and maple sake marinated pork belly roast
Freshly shucked Gigas oysters

All the different proteins on this platter were perfectly cooked, seasoned and presented really well. The pork bellies were melt in your mouth soft. My favourite was the sous vide duck breast because it was finished off with a sweet orange tare butter glaze and I love Kalbi everywhere I go, so I was really pleased to see this part of the SSAM feast. This piece of art work is also accompanied with a lot of molecular gastronomy that was done in house by chef himself.

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Served with condiments of:

Boston lettuce
Perilla leaves
Ssamjang
Roasted garlic sauce
Sesame oil powder
Kimchi
Salted Shrimp
Lavender Sake Pearls
Usukuchi soy sauce caviar

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To eat this SSAM, you take a Boston lettuce, and add your protein with all the condiments of your choice and top it off with a Perilla leaf – like a lettuce burger.

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ANIQ Kimchi Fried Rice
Kimchi, lardon, onion, garlic, sous vide egg
– I don’t eat a whole lot of Kimchi in one seating but I had more than seconds for this fried rice. The sous vide egg makes this fried rice more of a “soggy” rice than a dried fried rice which actually works with its textural contrast given everything we indulged above. The flavours of the Kimchi were not strong and balanced well with the onion and garlic.

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Deep Fried Brussel Sprouts

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Italian Torte with Ginger Ice Cream

This Italian Torte resembles a very mild and soft in texture cheesecake which I absolutely loved. I don’t prefer desserts that are too sweet so this was a perfect subtle way to end the tasting. If you’re prefer dessert with bold flavours, I would suggest the chocolate cake.

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Chocolate Cake with Green Tea Ice Cream

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I thoroughly enjoyed ANIQ. There was not one thing I didn’t like from this tasting. Each dish was not only really thought out but also well executed both visually and taste wise. I highly recommend this place and you’re really missing out if you don’t give it a try.

This post was done in collaboration with ANIQ Restaurant but gracelisamay.com remains unbiased in our content.

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