Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Aug 4th - Miku Restaurant - Sushi - Wonderful flavours and great patio

Caught up with a loved up girlfriend tonight.  With all the travelling we did this summer and her wonderful new man, we have not seen each other for months.  Just back from a trip to the Yukon, we met up for Sushi near Vancouver's Waterfront.  It is a block away from the Olympic Flame sight. 

Vancouver has sushi everywhere.  This means great variety of: Choice, Price, Quality and Style.  You can easily find decent lunchtime sushi for under 10 dollars.  Or you can opt for high end, renown sushi at places like Tojo's.  There is also 'funky' sushi like at the Eatery where, though not classic, you can find dozens of interesting, wacky and westernised rolls.  Sushi is not as straight forward as you might think.  There is room for expression even in such a strict discipline as Sushi is, where true chefs train for decades to perfect their technique.  Miku has hit this sweet spot of unique expression and style with classic flavours and technique.
They have different menus, depending on the time of day.  I have heard great things about their lunch menu.  We were here for dinner.  Their signature Maki & Oshi rolls do not take the expected form of a Nori wrapped roll. They are pressed rice rolls topped with or enveloping their ingredients.  Similar to Nigiri but longer and sliced.  They are wonderful.  S and I shared 4 rolls with a bottle of wine and we were well sated. We could possibly fit in another roll or a starter but 4  rolls for two big eating females is a good assumption for a base. :^)

Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi: Local Salmon pressed and dressed with our Chef's own Soy and MIKU sauce, topped with Jalapeño

Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi Roll

Was easily my favourite.  The Jalapeño is not spicy and adds a unexpected dimension to the roll and melds really well with the lightly seared (Aburi) Salmon. 

Saba Bo Sushi: house cured Saba (type of Mackerel) rolled with Ginger, charcoal seared

Saba Bo Roll
As this is a type of Mackeral, the fish is quite oily.  Oily on it's own and not from cooking.  The piece of Saba is quite thick so the pieces are quite pungent.  I quite liked it but it was probably on the garden's edge of too fishy for me.  When this roll came out, I asked the server for some low sodium Soy sauce for dipping.  She explained to me that the rolls are already seasoned by the Chef and should not require dipping.  I requested the Soy anyway, please and thank you.  She never returned.  I tried the roll without the additional Soy and felt I could use it and I am not a dunker by any stretch of the imagination.  I have friends who will sit the sushi in the Soy turn it over and let it sit some more like it's bathing.  I have always subscribed to the technique of 'showing' the sushi to the Soy.  After 10 minutes of waiting, I asked our actual server to bring me some Soy as the server who had simply delivered our Soy seemed to have either forgotten or silently protesting my request.  He brought it right away.  I doubt she forgot.  It was early evening and the restaurant was fully staffed for 30% capacity.  I wonder if another reason they refrain from offering dipping sauce is that all but the Saba roll were not super well pressed.  They only precariously made the voyage in the chopsticks to my mouth. 

Red Wave Roll: Snow crab and Avocado wrapped in Maguro topped with Masatake sauce

Red Wave Roll
This roll was quite good but of them all, rather average.  I am not convinced that it was Snow Crab.  It had the texture of 'Krab'.  The interesting addition to this roll was the Masatake sauce on top.  The sesame oil and onion combination on top was very Korean inspired and I like it.   It was the most 'typical' roll of our order.

Crunchy Scallop Roll: Hotate and Tobiko sprinkled with Aonori tempura bits

Crunchy Scallop Roll
This was lovely.  The light Tempura bits added a great texture and depth that I find plain Scallop rolls are missing.  Scallop rolls are not always my favourite and find they can be quite fishy.  This was not.  I would definitely order this one and the Aburi Salmon again!  I would like to see the Rolls pressed a bit tighter so that they were more solid on eating.  I dropped a bit on the table and very nearly my napkin on my lap.  If this were a date or work meal, I would have been rather embarassed if that were my sort of reaction :^).

Cost: $$$$ (for sushi)
Ambience: Clean and open
Wine list: Decent though the by the glass section could use expansion.

Miku Restaurant
1055 W Hastings St
Vancouver, BC V6E
(604) 568-3900



Miku Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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