Last Summer, I watched an incredible episode of Buzzfeed’s Worth It, where our food heroes Steven and Andrew traveled all the way to Japan and tried a dish called Omurice. Ever since then, I’ve been dreaming about trying this delicious omelette stuffed with flavorful fried rice laying in a pool of a rich brown sauce. Did I keep an eye on roundtrip rates to Japan? Yes. Was I still making minimum wage? Yes. As you could tell, I never flew to Japan for a great foodie adventure, but months later something caught my eye. My favorite food account (more like food family), @foodbabyNY, posted a picture of the exact dish I have been craving from a new restaurant called AOI Kitchen. Obviously, I ran not walked over to the East Village to try it, and here’s what I thought.
First of all, the Omurice was served on a gorgeous wooden platter with many accompaniments. I’m talking miso soup, fish, pickled cucumber salad with sesame seeds, salad with peanut sauce, and orange jelly! It was so much fun just trying everything individually, and it really made a difference in the experience. Might I just say, they served LEMON WATER instead of regular water? AOI Kitchen won my heart with that power move.
Let’s dive into the star of the platter, shall we? The Omurice itself was just incredible. The egg surrounding the rice was the kind of egg Ina Garten herself would make on Barefoot Contessa. You know, the really fancy kind of wet scrambled eggs? Inside this glorious omelet was some of the best fried rice I have ever had. A flavorful, salty, porky, rice with carrots mixed in. Simple, yet extremely satisfying paired with the surrounding egg. Now, here’s where things get interesting. The brown sauce. I thought it was going to be a rich gravy-like, curry-like topping, yet it mostly tasted like barbecue sauce. Traditionally, Omurice is topped with ketchup, so is it my fault for not doing the proper research? Maybe. Would I order it again with the sauce on the side? Yes. Did I still enjoy it? Yes. Your mileage may vary and you may love it, or you can just barely like it (if you’re like me). I didn’t think the tang was the greatest compliment to the other flavors, but I can agree that it needed a sauce texturally.
The vibe of this place is hip, the people working here are friendly, and the food is yummy. The sauce wasn’t my favorite, but you’ll see me here again. Maybe I’ll even try something else? I’ll let you know.