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An Insta-worthy Asian Bistro | Double Ai

An Insta-worthy Asian Bistro | Double Ai

Double Ai was one of those places that I'd always seen, told people we should try, but never ended up visiting.

Until one summer day, driving past the large outdoor patio overlooking the water, we decided to stop for an early dinner.

The rest is history. 

The Double Ai Experience 

I've been eating at Double Ai for at least 5 years now. Over the years, their menu, staff, and decor have evolved. Their great location and high-quality sushi are the reasons I come back for dinner.

In the summer, guests have the option of sitting outside on the large deck. Tables frame the outer edges usually sitting 2-6 people. Colorful umbrellas are placed strategically throughout.

Image Source: Double Ai Facebook Page

Image Source: Double Ai Facebook Page

Tiki torches are lit as the sun sets, and candles on the table keep the bugs away. Guests can look through the trees to see Pompton Lake.  

Double Ai | Interior

The colder months pack the inside of the restaurant as well. Double Ai's interior is modern with plenty of seats.

A bright fish tank lights up the entrance to the room. There are free-standing tables for 2-4, bar-top seating by the sushi station, and booths along the back wall overlooking the lake. 

What to try at Double Ai | Appetizers

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Thai Sesame Chili Chicken Wings | $6.95

This is one of my favorites. Yes, you'd be surprised that I ordered anything with "chili" in the title, but these wings are not spicy. 

I order my chicken wings "extra crispy" no matter the restaurant. This helps the wings maintain a crunch, even after they're coated in sauce.

Double Ai's wings hold up to my "extra crispy" standard, without getting dried out. Overtop the wings are sautéed onions and peppers. A stem of fresh parsley and wilted basil add brightness.

If you take a small slice of garlic with the vegetables and crispy skin, you have an amazing combination.

Don't eat the whole clove though, since they're crunchy/raw. When I first ordered this, I took the whole clove (thinking it would be soft and sweet like roasted garlic) and coughed and coughed until my eyes stopped watering from the sharp flavor. 

Crab Rangoon | Special

Double Ai is the first restaurant where I tried crab rangoons. Now I'm hooked! 

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Crispy fried wontons, filled with crab meat and cream cheese. Paired with a sweet orange duck sauce.

I'm not a huge fan of cream cheese, but these are amazing. When they're fried, the cream cheese melts and combines with the crab to create a creamy, warm center. 

Coconut Shrimp | $10.95

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The coconut shrimp is light, sweet, and meaty. I've also this appetizer with a cream (condensed milk based) sauce instead of the orange duck sauce. Both are delicious! 

This appetizer is so popular, that they're normally sold out.   

Salt and Pepper Squid | $10.95

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As an Italian who tries calamari everywhere she goes, I had to order the salt and pepper squid. 

The squid was tender and easy to cut. The batter was light like tempura, with a hint of seasoning.

I was worried that the name of the appetizer meant it would be spicy and peppery, but the dish was mellow. It also came with the sautéed vegetables that the Thai chicken wings did. 

Underneath the squid was a bed of (what looked like) fried glass noodles. They were a unique texture: light, crunchy, and a blank canvas for the dish.

I said to my sisters, "I bet this is decoration and we're not supposed to eat it." Either way, I did. This dish is a decent portion for two people to share. 

Beef Negimaki | $8.95

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This is a fun dish to order because of its boiling presentation. Steaming across the restaurant, the cast-iron plate holds the teriyaki-based sauce, al dente veggies, and the tender beef and scallion rolls. 

The beef negimaki is great to order with a group. I highly recommend it. 

Szechuan Water Dumplings (Spicy) | $5.95

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$5.95 is a spectacular price for these delicious gems. 

The dumpling "dough" is paper thin. It is wrapped around a hearty filling of (what I believe to be) pork. The dumplings lay in a pool of peanut-based sauce. 

I also don't remember these dumplings being unbearably spicy. So if you've never had them before, I suggest you try them. There are 12 to an order.

Double Ai Sushi 

My favorite food to get at Double Ai is their sushi. What they're known for is their specialty rolls with toppings and sauces. 

Over the years, between my family and I, we've tried nearly every specialty roll on Double Ai's menu. They range in price from $13.95-$15.95. This is a fair price since you get 8 rolls per order and they are much larger than standard sushi rolls.  

When I order sushi, my go-to rolls include any of the following: 

  • SpiderMan Roll

    Softshell crab top and spicy tuna with crunchy tobiko topping

  • Dancing Tuna Roll

    Spicy tuna, white tuna tempura & avocado inside topped with black pepper tuna

  • Princess Roll

    Shrimp tempura & avocado inside topped with crab & Thai aioli sauce

  • Spicy Girl Roll

    Spicy tuna & avocado topped with chopped shrimp tempura & caviar

  • Anniversary Roll

    Tempura lobster, avocado & cucumber inside topped with lobster salad & crab

With specialty rolls, not only do you have the flavor and texture of the fish, but the crunchy tobiko toppings or spicy or sweet sauces give these sushi rolls a completely different flavor. 

Click the Gallery to see the sushi I've ordered: 

Double Ai Dessert

Fortune cookies and orange slices arrive with your bill. I guess this could be considered dessert. However, I like to finish my meal with something warm. Since Double Ai doesn't serve coffee, I order a pot of tea. 

Double Ai Ceramic Tea Set

Double Ai Ceramic Tea Set

The last time I ate at Double Ai, they switched their teapots from ceramic to plastic. I was sad at first, but what's cool about the plastic ones is that they pour from the bottom. Check it out when you visit. 

Actual Dessert | Ice Cream

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Red bean, green tea, and vanilla ice cream for dessert. I prefer the green tea ice cream the best. Dunk your cookies in your ice cream or tea (yes, it's good), to finish out a spectacular meal. 

Insta-worthy Sushi Spot 

 

If you're a die-hard sushi lover this is a great place for you. Cozy up in a booth during winter or take in the breeze off the lake during summer. You're 100% likely to get Insta-worthy, foodie photos from this great restaurant. 

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