Brunei Darussalam

ASIAN FUSION AT AIKO SUSHI

I’ve recently set a new record for the largest number of (RAW) images shot in a single assignment. 32 hours in Four days and 10 hours of commuting later, I produced a total of 5,494 files for a new 3-floor Japanese restaurant. The support from management and their chefs had been wonderful and in spite of the language difficulty we pulled things off very well. I’m happy that at the end of the day, the chefs knew how I wanted the food presented, what worked and what not etc. — Facebook | March 2010

Adding to the above is a 5th day I hadn’t mentioned, until now. I had pretty much kept the whole  assignment under wraps all this time while AIKO management worked on their menu design and getting the restaurant ready to serve their customers. While AIKO hasn’t officially launched their full menu, they have opened their doors during this holy month of Ramadhan with their special sungkai buffet menu (check out the AIKO SUSHI Facebook Page for  more information).

MORE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE AIKO SUSHI RESTAURANT MENU

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Inspired by an idea to “stack” layers of RAW Japanese food items and a requirement to produce a print large enough for the restaurant wall, I had this on top of a reflective board to double its height. Equally “RAW” is the final image in 16-bits TIFF ready to be glamed up by designer.

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The element of fire is typically found in the kitchen where culinary battles are started, fought and tamed. I wanted to spice up this shoot and the kitchen is already too hot for me so I had the chefs torch the cheese pieces on the dining table for this. The caramelized cheese tastes really good too, incidentally.
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Where there is fire, there’s also ice. The ice pieces add another dimension of freshness to a picture even though viewers have come to expect nothing less when they dine in. Reassurance never hurts.
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Directional lighting brings out the otherwise overlooked features of these gorgeous mushrooms

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There are plenty of things in a restaurant that inspire creativity. Squeezing a zesty lemon and getting that drop is a fine way to add flair to an otherwise mundance shot.

One of my earlier liquid droplet attempts was the lime shot at Soto Rosmini I did for SilverKris magazine.

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Sticks of meat and vegetable “kebabs” sampler from the skewer menu.
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I’ll finish off this post with something that is immensely popular with Japanese cuisine addicts—thick chunks of salmon pieces. It’s my guilty pleasures and if there’s one thing better than a standard serving of Salmon Sashimi it’s a boat-sized serving!

MORE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE AIKO SUSHI RESTAURANT MENU

What a customer said
The place was a slamfest when we went last night, but there was also a big staff on hand to keep things running smoothly. Replenishment was never an issue for us. I didn’t get to look around much, but the decor is simple modern-style Japanese with some odd Malay & Chinese flourishes here & there. I thought for the price, the sungkai buffet was a great value, and was happy with the sushi I tried. I’ll want to give them a go some time on a slower day (after Ramadhan/Hari Raya are done) to see how they do with a full/normal meal, but I agree with the others: for the price, the quality and service were spot on.

Photographic Equipment:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II | ST-E2 Transmitter | EF 100mm f/2.8 L Hybrid IS | EF 24-70mm f/2.8 | Speedlite 580EX/580EX II | Photogenic 32″ shoot-through umbrellas x 2 | Quantum Turbo 2×2 | Dell Studio 17 notebook | Lowepro Rolling CompuTrekker AW Plus

One of the nice things when shooting in a yet-to-open eatery is the real estate for my equipment strewn across several tables when on active duty. This doesn’t include the display table (far left not in photo) where each dish is meticulously arranged, reviewed and shot.
On local commercial shoots the huge Lowepro Rolling CompuTrekker AW Plus (left) is my choice but it’s usually insufficient to store everything. That’s where my other bag a Lowepro Mini Trekker comes in (two bags and still do not include the umbrellas and lightstands).

16 thoughts on “ASIAN FUSION AT AIKO SUSHI

    1. Many thanks for the compliments, John! I visited your website and I was drawn into the first of your landscape pic—very serene and calming unlike when you’re sitting at the table and Japanese cuisine just stirs your appetite in a rather turbulent manner—once you start, you can’t stop and by the time you realize you’ve eaten too much, it’s too late 😀

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