I’ve been a little behind on my posting so this post is a cumulation of my last three visits to Miku. Miku has been one of my favourite restaurants and I make sure to slot it into my eating schedule on almost every visit to Vancouver. What makes Miku so unique is their Aburi-style (flame-seared) sushi alongside their specialty sauces to enhance the flavours of the food.
On this visit last October, we started off with Ebi Fritters ($10) again since my friend C loves them. The dish consists of beer-battered tiger prawns drizzled with a chili cream sauce. Compared to my previous visits to Miku, these fritters tasted just as good as before.
Next up was the Soft Shell Crab Karaage ($14). This was our first time trying this dish. It consisted of deep-fried soft shell crab with chili cream dipping sauce. This dish was tasty and I wouldn’t mind having it again but I didn’t think it had that much of a wow factor. If I were to pick between this or the Ebi Fritters, I would say the Ebi Fritters are the winner.
We ordered 3 type of rolls/sushi on this visit. The first was the Red Wave Roll ($13), which consisted of snow crab and avocado wrapped in maguro and topped with Miku’s signature masatake sauce. The crunchy Masatake sauce contains ginger, onion, soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. I enjoyed the contrasting flavours and textures in this roll.
Our second roll was the Pacific Roll ($13), which consisted of bincho, jalapeño and cucumber wrapped in shiso and hamachi and topped with cracked pepper and an avocado sauce. This was actually our first time trying this roll. Visually, it wasn’t all that appetizing because of the green color of the avocado sauce. But since I’m a big hamachi fan, I still enjoyed the roll.
And of course we ordered our favourite Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi ($14), which consisted of local salmon pressed and dressed with soy and a creamy Miku sauce and topped with thinly-sliced jalapéno. To me, this is the star of the show at Miku and a must order on every visit. I just love how the salmon melts in my mouth. What makes this sushi special is the flame-seared salmon. 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.
Since Miku’s menu changes seasonally depending on the availability of ingredients, we were not able to order one of our favourite rolls during my visit in October because uni (sea urchin) wasn’t in season yet. Hence, I went back to Miku again during my trip to Vancouver last November. On this visit, my food fried Grayelf joined us so we were able to order more items to try. Again, we ordered our staples at Miku, the Ebi Fritters ($10) and the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi ($14). Both were as good as always.
We also had the Pacific Roll ($13) again, which consisted of bincho, jalapeño and cucumber wrapped in shiso and hamachi and topped with cracked pepper and an avocado sauce.
On this visit, we also tried the GTR Roll ($15), which consisted of bincho, maguro, avocado, and asparagus wrapped in a roll and topped with kaiware sprouts and golden tobiko and finished with a wasabi sauce. Visually, the presentation was appealing as it was very pretty and colorful. But flavour-wise, it was just ok. I didn’t think it had that much of a wow factor.
Next up was the Miku Roll ($16), which consisted of salmon, uni, snow crab, and cucumber and is rolled in tobiko and finished dollops of Miku sauce that has been gently seared. This is my second favourite dish at Miku after the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi. What I love about the Miku Roll is mouthfeel when the tobiko pops as it almost feels crunchy. The roll is like a flavour explosion in the mouth with all the different components.
My foodie friend Grayelf wanted to try the Natto Maki ($4). Since I’m not a fan of natto (fermented soybeans) to begin with, I can’t comment whether this roll was good or not as the piece that I had didn’t make me fall in love with natto. But Grayelf seemed to enjoy it.
I finally had the opportunity to try dessert at Miku on this visit. I decided to try the Opera Cake ($10) since this is a signature dessert that seems to survive all the seasonal dessert menu iterations at Miku. I had read rave reviews about this cake and I’m a huge green tea fan so I had high expectations. This dessert consisted of green tea sponge infused with espresso syrup, brandy and frangelico liqueurs and layered with azuki bean cream, dark chocolate ganache, hazelnut wafer, green tea butter cream, green tea glaze, and served with a scoop of green tea ice cream. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. For me, the green tea opera cake just didn’t live up to the hype and my dining companions concurred. We just didn’t understand the melding of all the flavours. In fact, we couldn’t taste much green tea at all in the cake as it was muddled by all the strong flavours from the different layers. The best part for me was the scoop of green tea ice cream.
When I was back in town again in March, I went back to Miku again because I wanted to have the Miku Roll once more before it gets taken off the menu when uni is no longer in season. On this visit, my friend C and I just focused out our favourites. From our past experiences, we have found that we don’t love every dish at Miku. Some are just ok but the ones that we love are just amazing each and every time we go. I’m most impressed with the consistency in the execution of their dishes. On this visit, we ordered the Ebi Fritters ($10) and the Miku Roll ($16) again. Both were as good as always.
And of course, a visit to Miku is not complete without ordering the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi ($14). From our past experiences, we’ve now learnt not to be afraid of ordering doubles of what we really love rather than ordering some other item that is just ok.
After all these visits, Miku still remains one of my top favourite sushi restaurant in Vancouver. I’ll be first to admit that I don’t love every item on their menu. In fact, there are probably only a handful of dishes or so that I find that truly have a wow factor. But for me that’s enough to keep me coming back time and time again as I haven’t found any other place that executes these items so well.
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