Ambergris Caye Directory
A Multicultural Dining Experience at Aji
Dining at Aji Tapa Bar and Restaurant was a very pleasant experience and dinner completely exceeded my expectations. The food is excellent, the service is great and the surroundings are quaint and intimate.
And it is the intimate setting that sets Aji apart from other restaurants in San Pedro. The quaint restaurant is located 2.5 miles north of the Boca del Rio Bridge at Bella Vista Guest Homes. Their outdoor dining area sits under beautiful almond and palm trees, a central palapa and along limestone rock paths, all surrounded by a lush tropical garden. Aji strives to blend with nature and does it quite elegantly, making you feel very cozy and intimate; very much different from a regular restaurant. Even the bar is made from local driftwood found while beachcombing.
Our experience started with great tasting cocktails. Exceptionally delicious was their fruity Sangria made with wine, rum, vodka, whiskey and juices and the exotic Adela prepared with vodka, pama liqueur and cucumbers and the sweet Belini made with champagne and peach nectar.
Chef Mario Tosta describes Aji’s menu as being a blend of Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine – a mixture of Italian, Spanish and Argentinean flavors. Superb, we say! On the tapas menu is the excellent Gambas al ajillo – delicious shrimp simmered in olive oil, garlic and chili pepper; served with toasted bread. Really good – I especially liked dipping the bread in the olive oil mix! Another popular and really good tapa is the Datiles de Elxe which is bacon wrapped dates served with fresh fruit. This was a new flavor for me but I really enjoyed it. Aji also recommends the Artiche Dip!
On our dinner plates for the evening were the shrimp and lobster stuffed chicken breast, the tequila lobster and my favorite, the coconut cream shrimp which was cooked in a dreamy coconut milk cream sauce, sautéed vegetables and served with coconut rice. Creamy, spicy and rich describe this shrimp plate.
Have you ever had chicken breast stuffed with lobster and shrimp? If you have not, then you have to try this menu item at Aji. The stuffed chicken is breaded and then baked, drizzled with a rich pesto, served with homemade mashed potatoes and a side of garden salad. The mashed potatoes rock in this dish!
The Tequila Lobster needs no much explanation. The dish explodes with taste much like a shot of tequila. Lobster and vegetables are sautéed and glazed with a tequila simmered-down sauce. This is served with coconut rice and steamed vegetables.
Aji also recommends the Grouper Caribeno for dinner. It consists of fresh fillet of grouper that is oven-baked with homemade cream sauce, decorated with tomato, bell peppers, onion & capers; served with white coconut rice and steamed vegetables. If you are a vegetarian or vegan Aji has lots to offer, for example the Tomato Relleno which is filled with rice, veggies and tofu and the Paella Eegetal which is a traditional Spanish entree made with rice cooked in saffron over open fire and veggies added.
I have not seen a restaurant that does not offer Key Lime Pie for dessert, Aji is no exception. A delicious Key Lime Pie is on the menu, but the Chocolate/Flan Combo Cake is superb. Never seen it done, but they have managed to bake a rich flan on top of a chocolate cake. Very Nice!
Aji proved to be an exciting delight as I definitely want to go back for more. There are lots more items on the menu, including great lunch items that Ambergris Today did not sample. But we bet they are as great as their dinner menu. Aji is a delightfully shady place to stop for lunch and enjoy the cool Caribbean breeze. The patio is cooled by the almond tree shade and the view of the Caribbean Sea is more than enough to feel relaxed while you enjoy a Mojito or a Sangria (my favorite)!
Aji is also a perfect venue for rehearsal dinners, working meetings, weddings and other intimate gatherings. The restaurant is open all day serving throughout the afternoon, with happy hour from 1p.m. to 4p.m. daily. Reservations are recommended due to limited seating, but walk-ins are always welcome.
Bella Vista/Aji Website
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