Foodie Review: Aqua SF

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Okay, so it was my boyfriend's birthday last Tuesday (by the way, he's lovingly known as 'Big Daddy' among my circle of friends - LOL) and I decided to take him to Aqua, a restaurant that we've both been wanting to try but was sure that it would be wayyy over-priced and over-rated.

Aqua's menu consists almost entirely of seafood (one of the reasons he wanted to go) and is rated as a top San Francisco fine dining restaurant with two (out of three) Michelin stars (the only reason I wanted to go).

Our reservation was at 7pm and we were promptly seated in a spot that was as I requested - away from the kitchen and away from the door. It's just too noisy if you end up at either one of those locations. But, to my disappointment at Aqua, it was STILL noisy. Annoyingly noisy, where I couldn't even hear what the waiter or my boyfriend sitting across from me was saying half the time. So much for a nice dinner. If anyone from Aqua SF is reading this, please remodel and fix the acostics in your restaurant. You might end up with 3 Michelin stars next year because the noise level really took away from my, otherwise great, dining experience.

One thing I should mention about the menu at Aqua is that you can't order just an entree or one appetizer to share; you can only choose their 3-course prix fixe menu ($72 US) or the Chef's Tasting Menu ($125 US for 7 courses). While I did want to do the Tasting Menu, I just wasn't down for someone else choosing what I ate, so we both opted for the 3-course dinner.

Our meal started out with a plate of amuse-bouche. A sliver of sardine (fishy!), celery root and apple soup (YUM!), and a tuna croquette. I wasn't too impressed with it since it was all over the place. I'm not to the level where I can appreciate (or unappreciate) the progression of food as far as flavors go, but I do know what I like. I didn't like the fishy sardine, or the saltiness of the soup - although the flavor was nice, too much salt. And I didn't have much to say about the croquette. So, I thought, here we go, an overpriced dinner that isn't even going to be good. Boy, was I wrong!

I had some seared scallops and my boyfriend had raw kumamoto oysters. I don't like oysters, but he claimed they were good. And my scallops were divine. Perfectly cooked and just melted in my mouth. Here are some pictures but please know that this doesn't do it any justice since I lost my camera and had to take photos with my Treo. AND the lighting on my side of the table made the plates look green.

Seared Scallops

Kumamoto Oysters

Next, I had Crispy Snapper and the Boyfriend had Cod. I was a little disappointed in the snapper; it was slightly overcooked and dry but again, the flavor was good. And the BF's cod was excellent! I'm talkin' flavor bursting in my mouth and the fish was moist and perfectly done. There was nothing wrong with that dish in my book. I'd go again right now if it weren't so darn expensive!

Crispy Snapper

Atlantic Cod

And finally for dessert, I had a cheese plate because I don't really have a sweet tooth (and I LOVE cheese!) and the BF had some sort of passionfruit cake with hibiscus sauce and lychees. It was divine! He claims he doesn't like dessert but you know he ate the whole thing!

Passionfruit Dessert

What I loved the most about the whole evening was, of course the company (Honey, I know you're reading!), and the table side presentation! Every course that was brought out, the servers poured the sauces onto our plates. It made it seem really fancy and that they appreciated the fact that you were dining there.

My only major complaint about the whole experience was the darn noise and the fact that I didn't send my snapper back when I should have. I personally don't recommend Aqua if you're looking for a quiet evening with good food. However, I do recommend it if you're going in a big party (who cares if you're loud because everyone else is) or if you have an expense account you want to blow.

Let me know what your experience with Aqua was like and if you recommend in any restaurants in the SF/Bay Area. I love food and I will go try it!

One more day until Turkey Day! YAY!


the Muse said...

starving just looking at it all ;)

The oysters and code look extremely yum!

I'm a bit of foodie myself hehe!

petitebelle said...

WOW the food looks really great! I live in the Bay Area as well, I'm definitely going to have to check that place out.

nilla cookie said...

Hey Muse!

The oysters had apple granita (I dunno what that is, but I bet it's yummy!) I love food and my BF and I actually try to do an "anniversary" dinner once a month so that we can try different restaurants!

:) Lilan

nilla cookie said...

Hey PetiteBelle!

You should definitely try it, it was really great. What SF restaurants do you love?

yummy411 said...

sorry that the experience was soo noisey =(

that passion fruit dessert makes it look like it was all worth it ;) LOL