PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Trudging up the well-worn, carpeted steps to Aroma, you wonder what you are in for. Its first-floor position does not allow windows of opportunity to attract foot traffic as is part of the Chinatown fun. It sits above the crowds window-shopping restaurants and admiring the chefs in the front window slicing barbecued ducks and lassoing hand-made noodles in the air.
On street level, Aroma's posters spruik the curious combination of Korean cuisine and Japanese buffet. The latter is enough to lure interested parties upstairs, intrigued by promise of a never-ending sushi supply.
The restaurant's glass sliding door shields a swarm of eager young ladies wielding menus, keen to have you in. It is a huge restaurant. Buffet feasting is geared toward the rear, while the front section hosts Aroma's Korean counterpart. Its tables are set with barbecue plates ready to grill marinated meats. Summon an Aroma special combo and you will be cooking wagyu beef, king prawns and ox tongue at your table. Then there is the delight of bibimbab - hot pots flavour-filled with a colourful combination of meat and vegetables over rice. Their savoury smells make it hard to cross the room for alternate Japanese treats.
Rest assured this is not a buffet in the true sense. You will not be confronted with dried rice and "fragrant" fish left on display for hours. It is sushi and sashimi after all - the epitome of fresh is best. Order from the menu and its dishes will keep on coming to you, for one an hour at lunch and two for dinner. A three dollar surcharge is added to your bill for each unfinished plate, but who would want to waste the likes of ethereally fresh slivers of tuna, salmon, kingfish, eel, seaweed, crab, lobster ships…