Miku is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in the Vancouver area. A friend took me to Miku for the first time last November when I was in town for a visit. What makes Miku so unique is their Aburi-style (flame-seared) sushi alongside their specialty sauces to enhance the flavours of the food. Ever since my first visit, Miku has made it on to my list of places to eat at whenever I’m in town. I visited Miku again on a recent trip to Vancouver.
To start, we ordered two pieces of their daily special nigiri, the meji toro (belly of young tuna). The meji toro ($6 ea.) was done Aburi-style and was lightly seared on the top. The meji toro was easily the best piece of nigiri I’ve ever tasted, thus far. It just melts in your mouth with a creamy finish due to the fattiness of the toro. I could have eaten 10 pieces of these if it wasn’t for the price!
Next we ordered the Ebi Fritter ($10), which consisted of lightly beer battered tiger prawns served with a chili cream sauce. These fritters, while not necessarily the best that I’ve ever eaten, are tasty nonetheless. We order it every time we go to Miku since my friend is addicted to them. In fact, whenever we go to izakaya-style establishments, we will order the Ebi Mayo if we see it on the menu to see how it compares.
Next up was the Himachi Kama Shioyaki ($9), which was salt-grilled yellowtail collar. Again, this was one of the daily features. The grilled fish was so juicy, tender, and delicious. The fish just melted in our mouths. We consumed every last bit of it except for the bone, of course. I’d definitely order this dish at Miku if it was featured again.
The Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi ($14) consisted of rice and local salmon pressed in a wooden mould and dressed with Miku sauce. Each piece was topped with black pepper and a thin slice of jalapeno. The Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi is one of the signature dishes at Miku. I’d definitely recommend trying this dish out. It is by far my favourite dish on the Miku menu. To me, of all the different types of fish that could be flame-seared or done Aburi-style, I find flame-seared or Aburi salmon to be the most interesting and unique. The searing with the torch actually changes flavour characteristics of the salmon. Aburi salmon actually tastes more creamy and buttery than regular salmon and has a smoky charcoal flavour to it. The freshly cracked black pepper along with the thinly sliced jalapeno adds just the right amount of heat to balance the creaminess of the seared salmon. There is a perfect blend of flavours in every bite.
Lastly, we had the Red Wave Roll ($13) which contained snow crab and avocado wrapped in maguro and topped with Miku’s own Masatake sauce. The crunchy Masatake sauce contains ginger, onion, soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. I thought the Red Wave Roll was a great choice as it contrasted the creamy flavours of the Salmon Aburi Oshi Sushi.
I’m typically more of a traditionalist when it comes to sushi but I really enjoy Miku’s contemporary twists to classic Japanese fare. In addition to the delicious food, I also love the decor at Miku. It’s got a contemporary and trendy feel to it, which I really like. My only small criticism about Miku is that I wish that they would print out a list of their daily/seasonal specials instead of having the server rattle them off at the table. More often than not, it’s pretty noisy there and with the long list of dishes and complex ingredients, it’s really hard for guests to listen and remember them all before deciding what to order. If I could actually read what’s on the feature list, I’d probably try more of their daily features. Other than that, I can’t wait to go back again on my next trip to Vancouver.
#2-1055 West Hastings Street