Avid Japanese food lovers are no strangers to Miku and its sister restaurant, Minami, which both specialize in aburi sushi (lightly seared nigiri sushi that has been torched with open flame).
During the holiday season, I decided to try Miku (new location at 70-200 Granville Street, next to Canada Place) with my friend Helene, who was visiting from Hong Kong for an early Sunday lunch. I made the reservations through OpenTable (it’s so convenient!); although it was an early lunch, the restaurant was already fairly busy, the coveted window seats (with waterfront view) were all occupied and we were seated very close to the bar in the mid-section.
We had to wait much longer than expected to place our orders; I do appreciate the efforts of another server(who was working at the bar), who jumped in and provided us with attentive service, ensuring things were moving along smoothly and our dishes were delivered promptly.
We decided to share three courses and dessert:
Kaiso Seaweed Salad – a medley of organic baby greens, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, radish, crunchy arare (bite-size Japanese cracker) with sesame ponzu vinaigrette – it was a nicely dressed salad with balanced flavours, I would definitely order this again.
Aburi Sushi Lunch (Picture shown in Header) – consists of 8 pieces from their selection of their aburi, oshi and roll sushi, served with miso soup, each piece is paired with their own special sauce. This is definitely an excellent introductory “course for anyone who doesn’t have any previous experience with aburi sushi; my favourites were the salmon oshi (with jalapeño and special Miku Sauce) and the ebi oshi (pressed prawn with lime zest and ume (Japanese plum) sauce).
Kaisen Soba Peperoncino – Soba noodles “stir fried” with soy, garlic, olive oil, shrimp, squid, baby Bok choy, sweet peppers, shiitake mushrooms and tempura bits. It has all the elements of a great tasting “fusion” dish and the spiciness was just right; however we found the noodles a bit greasy.
Lemon Cream – poached pears, gingerbread cookie, kaffir lime sauce. The dessert exceeded my expectations; the “tartness’ of the cream was balanced nicely with the sweetness of pears and mixed fruits. Overall it was very pleasing to the palate.
I’ve been to Minami a few times before and this was my first visit to Miku; I guess I may have gone with slightly high expectations. Although the initial slow service was a bit disappointing, I must say the oshi sushi was still exceptional; it is still on balance worth a second try.
Miku – #70 – 200 Granville Street (by Canada Place)
Authentic Japanese flavours with fusion twists; high price point; reservations recommended (available through http://www.opentable.com). Indoor public parking available close by (next to Waterfront Sky train station); better yet, take the sky train on a nice day and enjoy a walk by the waterfront after lunch (OO).