Ai Ki Ya NYC – Candy Floss Hot Pot

Hi friends, welcome back! I’ve got a unique dining experience to share with you all today. I alluded to this restaurant in my latest Foodie Friday, but I thought it deserved a whole post. I usually dine at American style restaurants, so when Ai Ki Ya invited me for dinner I was very excited to try out this Japanese restaurant in Koreatown. Jon and I had a reservation at 7pm on Friday night, and this restaurant was packed. The atmosphere was very fun and lively, but also very chill. The diners seemed an even mix of couples and friends, but everyone looked to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.

The star entrée of this restaurant is the Candy Floss Sukiyaki Hot Pot (US Wagyu Beef Slices, Chinese Cabbage, Mushroom, Carrot, Daisy Crown, Tof Konjac, Scallion). The candy floss, aka cotton candy, melts into the hot pot making the broth sweeter. This was my first hot pot, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I thought this entrée tasted delicious and was so unique! The servers cook it for you at the table and explain everything, and we could control the sweetness of the broth by moving the candy floss to the side, or eating it. I’ve never seen anything like this so it was a fun experience for us, and it seemed like almost every table ordered the hot pot too.

Jon and I also ordered the Sashimi Don (Yellowtail, Tuna, and Salmon with Sushi Rice) and I loved the presentation of this dish. I’m not sure what the purple and yellow pieces were, but I was too afraid to find out.

We also split some non-adventurous Pork Gyoza that tasted delicious.

Jon and I tried the Beef Short Rib, American Wagyu, and Beef Sirloin with Oba & Cheese Yakitori Grilled Skewers. These tasted delicious, but as many Yelp reviews state, they were rather small.

We concluded our meal with a little scoop of ice cream that came with the Candy Floss Sukiyaki entree. I am not sure what flavor of ice cream this was, I think it was matcha, but it tasted delicious nevertheless. The flavor was interesting because I tasted vanilla, then chocolate, and then I wasn’t sure. I’ve never had matcha, but if it tastes like this ice cream then I’m definitely missing out!

Lastly, the menu at Ai Ki Ya is quite vast and you put a check next to each item you’d like to order. I thought this was a very convenient way to order, especially if you are getting quite a few skewers or appetizers.

As you can imagine, Jon and I were definitely stuffed after this meal! Overall, this was a fun dinner and I’m so glad we experienced a new cuisine. Ai Ki Ya would be a great spot to meet up with a group of friends or for a unique date night. The service here was excellent, the food tasted delicious, and I’d recommend checking out this restaurant if you’re looking to try hot pot or anything else that may have caught your eye on the menu. What do you think about the Candy Floss Sukiyaki Hot Pot?

32 thoughts on “Ai Ki Ya NYC – Candy Floss Hot Pot

    1. It was such a cool place! Asian food is so good, I was hoping they might have sushi, but the Hot Pot was so awesome. Korea Town I believe is only like two blocks, but it’s just south of the Empire State Building.

  1. Love good Japanese food. Not sure about the whole candy floss thing as I like less sweet mains. Sashimi is also not on our list, but that is likely due to being on the prairies. Cooked and veggie sushi is fine. I can identify with the Gyoza. It looks delightful. Also tempura (in Japan, we even had a tempura maple leaf) and pork tonkatsu. Thanks for sharing Lyssy. Allan

    1. Good Japanese food is high on my list of favorites. I couldn’t really taste the candy floss in the broth, but I’ve been eating a lot of jelly beans, so my taste buds might be biased 🙂 I imagine it’s harder to get fresh fish in your neck of the woods. A tempura maple leaf sounds very interesting!

  2. I love Korean restaurants especially Korean BBQ that is cooked at your table like the hot pot. Everything looks so delicious. I’ve never seen the candy floss option. I’ll have to give it a try, if you said it is good.

    1. We’ve had Korean BBQ once and I really liked it! We will have to find a place in the city, I’m sure there’s some amazing ones. The candy floss wasn’t overly sweet, I’d definitely order it again.

  3. I just found you last week, I read all the wedding stuff cute! I will be reading more.I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you took pictures of the menus. I look forward to more! Missy

    1. Thank you so much Missy, that is so kind of you to say! I’m glad you like the menu pictures, I usually include them in my posts 🙂

  4. Really interesting! I’ve had hot pot once before but not with cotton candy. I never would have envisioned that being a tasty combination.

    1. I was so interested in the hot pot, I didn’t really taste any cotton candy/sweet taste in the broth, but it was delicious!

  5. A wonderful dining experience, I miss Asian food. Never seen hot pot with candy floss before, but would definitely try. That does look like matcha ice cream judging by the colour alone. I like everything to do with matcha, just last week we had some delicious matcha lattes in Lancaster. Thanks for sharing, Lyssy.

    1. Asian food is so delicious! I’m sure you had some of the best in your travels. I think it was matcha, although someone said it could be green tea, but that doesn’t sound like an ice cream flavor that would be good. I know everyone is obsessed with matcha lattes, I’ll have to try one!

  6. A Japanese restaurant in Koreatown… got a little stuck there, but no matter, because the candy floss aspect of the hot pot is magical. At first I thought it was a big light fixture. And how the heck do you pronounce “Ai Ki Ya”? It would be good to take a Korean as your guest the next time around, if only to explain the yellow, the purple, and the other mysteries of the menu. Way to be adventurous!

    1. Haha it does look like a big light fixture, I would never have guessed it was cotton candy. I am not sure, in my head I say Ikea, but I am not sure that’s right. It would be nice to take a Korean to explain all the food, I was worried we would have to figure out how to cook the hot pot. Not sure if they explain it to every table, or we looked like we needed instructions haha.

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