Since Brian loves Japanese cuisine, I thought it was only right to bring him to one of the most popular places in Vancouver – Miku - for his 30th birthday. I have to admit, it was my first time there as well but I can definitely say it won’t be my last!
Miku is situated near the Vancouver Convention Centre, however after April 20th it will move into it’s new spot where the old Aqua Riva used to be. Its going to be a beautiful and romantic view that I’m hoping to check out again soon.
When we arrived, we were greeted warmly and loudly by all the staff as we made our way to our seats. I have to say, this never gets old!
Our server was very knowledgeable, friendly, made sure our glasses were full and our needs were fulfilled. Excellent service goes a long way and can bring a meal to another level.
To start off, we ordered the Wagyu Carpaccio ($19). With all this controversy surrounding Wagyu and it’s authenticity in North America, it’s tough to push out of your mind while dining. Did you know that Wagyu cattle are fed potatoes, massaged AND given beer/sake? What a life! Nevertheless, this dish was all I expected it to be – the most tender and buttery slices of beef you could possibly taste here in Vancouver. Miku is quite transparent with their menu, so when you look at the description it does say, “American Premium Kobe Beef” – which if you were wondering, means it was bred with Angus cattle (thanks Wikipedia!). In any case, this delicious buttery goodness was a great way to start off our meal. On top was organic Mizuna (similar in taste and looks to Arugula) and thinly sliced pears. The crunchiness and sweetness of the pear balanced the buttery taste of the carpaccio well.
The birthday boy ordered Premium Aburi ($25), a selection of delicious fish delicately seared. Asides from a farm salmon, a wild salmon, ebi and the scallop, I cannot remember the rest of the fish, nor the delicious toppings. However every single piece was amazing – it was literally like biting into heaven. The fish was elegantly sliced and slightly smokey (thanks to the Aburi-style preparation), the rice is cooked just right – not too mushy and had it’s own flavour and the sauces atop each fish complimented the amazing flavour of the fish on rice.
My favourite was the wild salmon Aburi (fourth from the left – the sauce was onions, sesame oil, garlic and I think soy).
Up next was the Poke Roll ($11), this sushi roll had avocado in the middle and deep fried lotus root on top with shredded shrimp and fish roe on the top. This roll was good, an interesting mix of crunchy and sweet.
It seems only right that when you come to Miku, you order their signature dish – the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi ($14). This sushi is pressed with a layer of rice, then a layer of salmon, rice, and then the top fish. The top is salmon that is dressed in their Miku sauce and a thin slice of jalapeño and seared lightly. Each bite of this delicious, savoury morsel was like dying and ascending into sushi heaven. The flavours burst but are not overwhelming in taste. Our server mentioned a couple times that there would be no need for wasabi and soy for their sushi, and not only is that is simply music to my ears, it definitely is the truth. This aburi alone is the reason you must make your pilgrimage to Miku.
We decided to order one more roll – well, I decided to order one more roll simply because I saw this on their video, the Saba Bo Sushi ($16). It’s basically house cured mackerel, chopped ginger and shiso. What lured me to this roll was the way they sliced up the fish and folded it around the rice rather than the other way around. Since mackerel can be quite fishy in taste, the ginger and shiso really helped balance the flavour, but again, I have to credit the fact that it was slightly seared and the smokey taste really added to the flavour.
In summary, Miku has found yet another fan in me and also Brian. I was a little apprehensive in taking him here as he’s really used to the run of the mill type places for sushi but he absolutely enjoyed it and could appreciate the quality and love that went into every single piece of sushi. Yay! Does that mean my need for flavourful eats is starting to rub off on my husband?!
The price paid here is definitely worth it if you order the aburi and speciality rolls.
I can’t wait to see what the new Miku will look like at the waterfront.
Check out their website and menu here.