Those who know me (or have read the food pun on my name-card /Foodie profile) know that I’m a big fan of green tea. Whether I’m drinking it in a cup or enjoying it in flavoured form, I never tire of the subtle vegetal taste that can range from borderline bitter (in its original form) to mildly malty and sweet (usually when served in some kind of milky or fusion dessert variant). Another plus: it’s supposedly also full of antioxidants and various health benefits (although I guess green tea KitKat and mochi don’t quite count on this front).
Read more: The Benefits of Drinking Matcha Tea
I was thus pleasantly surprised and excited when I heard about Aqua’s Made x Matcha menu. Available throughout this summer, the menu features a contemporary spin on the revered Japanese ingredient matcha – essentially a super-concentrated green tea powder. Diners can choose from two cocktails and three dishes infused with premium-quality matcha sourced specially from Nishio, Japan. Being the matcha lover I am, I couldn’t wait to head over to Aqua to try out all the dishes.
My evening at Aqua started with a glass of the matcha colada ($158) – a mix of Tanqueray No TEN Gin, dark crème de cacao, Coco Lopez coconut cream and fresh pineapple. I’m not normally big on pina coladas, but this one was deliciously velvety, with the bittersweet matcha flavour elevating the taste of the overall concoction. The cocktail was even served in a matcha-dusted coupe (go big or go home, right?), which provided an additional waft of matcha aroma (and matcha powder) with every sip. This was, however, a slightly impractical flourish – the condensation inevitably combined with the matcha to form a sticky coating on the stem of the glass (or maybe I just needed to drink more quickly).
The first course was seared unagi with white miso matcha sushi ($108) – fleshy slices of flame-seared unagi goodness brushed with sweet miso sauce, perched atop a bed of matcha-dusted sushi rice. There was just a subtle hint of matcha’s earthy taste under the sweet miso sauce, but the sushi was competently executed and good enough to eat on its own without any soy sauce.
Up next was the beautifully presented matcha and plankton risotto, almost-burnt lobster, baby mushrooms and matcha bubbles ($348). The lobster slices were fresh, tender and flavourful while the jade-green matcha foam provided an interesting aromatic accent. However, the dish’s main weakness lay in the risotto itself, which was comparatively plain in taste.
For dessert, we were served matcha ice cream, sweet yuzu curd, matcha sponge and Italian meringue ($128), which was inspired by the colourful green hues of a Japanese garden.
Matcha ice cream is a classic that can do no wrong in my book, and in this iteration it was jazzed up by the tangy notes of yuzu curd and the sugary crunch of slightly burnt meringue. I did find that the yuzu and meringue tended to overpower the matcha’s more restrained flavour profile, but on the whole, the dessert still packed a palate-pleasing sour-sweet finish to my matcha meal.
Aqua’s Made x Matcha menu was a bit of a mixed bag, with some delights and some disappointments. The good news is the menu is available on an à la carte basis, so you don’t have to go all out and have a full-on matcha meal (unless you want to, of course). And if you’ve never been to Aqua before, it would be worth making a visit if only for the spectacular views of Victoria Harbour (request a table right by the window – you won’t regret it).
29–30/F, One Peking, 1 Peking Road, TST, 3427 2288
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation.