Thursday, March 22, 2012

Miku Restaurant

For our anniversary dinner, we decided to go to Miku as I Love Hotdogs has never been here before. I've been to this restaurant about a year ago and what I remember is how tasty the seared salmon sushi was!

Miku is a Japanese izakaya located on West Hastings street (right by the Shaw Towers) that specializes in Aburi or sear-flamed sushi. The technique behind this is that by adding the heat directly, it will enhance the flavours of the fish.

When we arrived, the restaurant was super busy! There were a lot of people at the front door waiting for tables. I'm glad that we made reservations. We were seated quite promptly after we arrived. A good tip to remember is if you go on Friday or Saturday night, make sure you make a reservation!

Restaurant Interior
Open kitchen, very modern (different from other izakayas), and very blue

After being seated and given our menus, a waiter came by and asked for our drink orders. I ordered a tea and it came in this cute little teapot. The tea is loose leaf tea.

While drinking the tea, we looked through the menus and debated what to eat. We knew we must order the Aburi sushi as one of our dishes as this is what their restaurant is known for.

After much debating, we settled on 6 dishes.

Ebi Fritters
beer-battered tiger prawns, chili cream sauce

I love prawns! I Love Hotdogs not so much (but he's trying to like them!) Anyway, when the dish arrived, it was presented neatly with a sauce pattern on the edge of the plate.

The batter was light and crispy and the prawns were quite large and fresh! The chili sauce added a bit of heat and made a good dipping sauce for the prawns.

Chicken Nanban
lightly fried marinated chicken, organic cabbage salad, house made tartar sauce

When this dish arrived, the waiter commented that this was his favourite dish. The tartar sauce was good and the chicken was moist. The only thing we would have liked was if the chicken was fried a bit more crispier.

Vegetable Tempura with 3 Different Salts
(Top to Bottom: Miku 5 Spice Salt, Green Tea Salt, Garlic Salt)

I usually don't like tempura as I find at most places, the ratio to batter to vegetable is really out of proportion (too much batter!). But I really like the tempura here at Miku. The batter is light and crispy and it doesn't feel greasy at all. The Vegetable Tempura comes with 3 dipping salts: The Miku 5 Spice Salt has a bit of a kick to it. The Green Tea Salt tasted like matcha salt. It wasn't my favourite. The last one is a Garlic Salt which is always good!

And finally, what we were all waiting for! The Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi!

Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi
local salmon pressed and dressed with our chef’s own soy & Miku sauce, topped with jalapéno

This sushi is amazing! The salmon is so tasty and it just melts in your mouth! The jalapeno adds a nice spice and crunch. And the sauce just adds another dimension of taste to the sushi. There's also a little piece of salmon tucked away in the middle! We both agree that this is the best salmon sushi we've had.

At Miku, they don't have bottles of soy sauce on the tables. Instead, they give you a small dish with 2 types of soy. A dark soy from Japan and a regular soy. They recommended the dark soy for the sushi. But I preferred the regular soy as I found the flavour of the dark one to be too over powering.

And more sushi!

Premium Nigiri
a selection of traditional nigiri sushi (7 pieces)
(Top to Bottom: Unagi - BBQ Eel, Flounder, Tuna, Salmon, Scallop, Red Tuna, Hamachi - Yellow Tuna)

I found the nigiri sushi here to be pretty average. The fish is fresh, but other than that, there isn't really anything that stood out on this dish.

Pacific Roll
bincho, jalapeño, cucumber, wrapped in shiso and hamachi, cracked pepper, avocado sauce

The black pepper and shiso added an interesting flavour to the roll. The avocado sauce is really good! I wished there was more on the plate. Overall, this is a pretty solid roll.

Mmmmm sushi

I really like saba (mackerel) but I Love Hotdogs doesn't like it at all cause he finds it to be really fishy. I actually don't think it tastes fishy at all! So I ended up ordering 1 piece of the Aburi Saba Nigiri. And it was tasty! Sooo tasty.

Aburi Saba Nigiri

After 6 dishes, we still had room for dessert! The waiter recommended we get dessert as they have the best pastry chefs. After he said that, I was sold. There's always room for dessert!

Cassis Apple Dome
light cassis mousse, green apple compote, mint glaze, dark chocolate ganache with bitter cocoa nibs, mint blueberry sauce, lemon-cinnamon cookie, chocolate ice cream
The Cassis Apple Dome was amazing! The cassis (some sort of currant) mousse was light, fruity, not too sweet and not too tart. The crust had bits of cocoa nibs and the flavour just popped out in each bite you took. And the chocolate gelato was really chocolatey, creamy and had a slight hint of liquor. This dessert was one of the best desserts we've ever had!!

Banana Coconut Cream
light banana pastry cream infused with rum, coconut mousse, coconut-pineapple sponge, passion fruit/orange sauce, cranberry preserves and rum-raisin ice cream

The Banana Coconut Cream dessert was also really good! There were little bits of coconut in the mousse and the dessert was well balanced. The rum-raisin ice cream was amazing! Plenty of rum flavour and the raisins were plump!

Overall Impressions: 
- Service was really friendly and prompt. The waiters were really knowledgeable and answered all the questions we had about the menu.
- Aburi Salmon Sushi and the Desserts were amazing and a must try if you go!
- The nigiri sushi we had was pretty average.
- Restaurant was a bit loud.
- Really like the open kitchen.

Miku Restaurant
1055 W Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
Miku Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. ebi mayo! dessert?!! sounds like it's for me :)!!

    1. You should check it out! The desserts are fantastic! :)