If you’re researching a trip to Palermo, there are a lot of restaurants that are highly recommended especially by people in the food and wine industry. Some of this information seems a bit outdated so we want to set the record straight on this well-established fish restaurant that no longer lives up to the hype.
Aja Mola is a hip natural wine and fish restaurant with glowing online reviews, a good reputation in the wine community, and lots of hotels sending guests for dinner. We went with high expectations and it ended up being the worst meal we have had in Sicily.
Aja Mola recently acquired a new chef, and while she is doing new and different things, we don’t like them. The one-Michelin star sister restaurant in the adjacent building, Gagini, is the place to go in Palermo for fine dining. The expectation at a fish-based trattoria, which Aja Mola is supposed to be, is super fresh fish, served simply, with good wine.
What came out of the kitchen during our dinner was an endless stream of dishes that were trying too hard, plated atrociously, with too many ingredients in everything. We barely finished anything and politely pretended that we were too full to order dessert.
Aja Mola has a good reputation in the natural wine community as well, but we felt the list was a bit too heavy on the stereotypical (mostly orange, funky) wines in this genre.
Palermo does not need another Michelin-starred restaurant and we don’t think the path Aja Mola is on will lead to one. We suggest avoiding this for now and keeping up hope that in the future they will reverse course.
Aja Mola, Via dei Cassari, 39, 90133 Palermo PA, Italy