Miku focuses on fresh ingredients, global inspiration and artful presentation. Miku specializes in Aburi-style sushi, lightly seared and infused with savory French sauces to its tantalizing meats, tenderized by Sumiyaki grilling, Offering organic, local ingredients paired with fine wines and sake.
We decided to give Miku a try after having recently reopened at their new location at Waterfront, conveniently located right beside Waterfront SkyTrain station.
Calamari - $14 (7/7)
This isn't your typical calamari! This is THE calamari. It's not all batter, and the batter actually stays ON the squid without flaking off or leaving any batter residue at the bottom of your plate. The squid itself is the most moist and soft we've had. It's not chewy, and it melts in your mouth! Garnished with pickled beets and cucumber.
Cast Iron Baked Mussels - $21 (7/7)
This also isn't your typical order of mussels. It's not accompanied by a broth / sauce, however, it comes with some sort of butter for you to dip your magical, heavenly mussels in. The bacon is oh-so smokey and delicious. PERFECTLY complements the mussels. Probably the best dried (dried because it isn't swimming in a broth / sauce) mussels in town.
Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi - $15 (5/7)
You can't go to Miku without ordering their signature aburi dishes. We opted for the salmon one, and to be honest, it was pretty amazing, BUT it just tastes like any other salmon nigiri. Miku salmon aburi enthusiasts - please forgive us. Note - this took an HOUR to come out. Yes, one (1) hour.
Pacific Roll - $15 (4.5/7)
This was kind of .. weird? It's definitely creative, that's for sure. You can SLIGHTLY taste the minty-ness from the leaf, if you tried hard enough. Couldn't really taste the avocado, and the roll had a mushy consistency. This also took an hour. Had we been starved and disappointed with their other dishes, this would probably have been a disastrous meal. Their saving grace was the calamari and mussels.
Miku, when they were at their old location, had much better food. This wasn't as good, despite their pretty amazing calamari and mussels.
Honestly, after hearing and reading such rave reviews, we arrived with high expectations. Sadly, it fell very short of our expectations
We ordered quite a few things. First off, the oysters on half shell. Nothing spectacular... the sauces it came with were creative but we found that it didn't really go with oysters.
Next up were the ebi fritters and beef carpaccio. The Ebi fritters were ok. Nothing spectacular and certainly not worth the $14 we paid for. We felt the ebi mayo at Guu Garlic or at Itadakimasu are of the same quality and taste much better and they only cost half the price. The beef carpaccio was only average. It has a good beef taste but the horseradish creme was quite bland and didn't add to the dish at all.
Next, we get to the much hyped salmon oshii. It's certainly good but as we've never had it at another place before, it's hard to make comparisons. The rice practically falls apart as we're trying to pick it up but the salmon melts in your mouth. Probably the only thing out of our whole meal that we thought was worth the price tag (although we noticed that a lot of their stuff (including the oshii) is pre-made... just sitting there in the kitchen, waiting for someone to order it).
We also ordered the crunchy scallop roll, pacific roll, and the negitoro roll. The scallop roll was like a chopped scallop roll you can order at any Japanese place except they added asparagus in there and sprinkled some crunchy tempura bits on top. I would've like it a lot more if the asparagus wasn't in there as it added an unnecessary texture in the roll. The negitoro roll was also average. The fish was fresh and the roll was nicely wrapped, but that's about it. Hubby and I both agreed the pacific roll was the worst choice out of all the rolls. The avocado sauce on top was bland and the shiso leaf overpowered the flavours of the fish. Best to avoid it.
I think the worst part about this was that about 3, 4 hours after dinner, I started to feel unwell and became very sick. It abated after about half an hour but I felt some lingering nausea for the remainder of the weekend.
When we first arrived, one of the managers was trying to rectify a snafu with a group's reservation (apparently, they put down the wrong date for the group). We waited a few minutes and then were seated. We perused the menu for a good 5 minutes but our server never showed up to take our drink order. In the meantime, the group that had the reservation snafu was seated next to us and as soon as they sat down, their server came and gave them a round of water to start. Another 15 minutes go by and we've decided on what we wanted to order but still no server in sight for us. We closed our menus to signal that we're ready to order and still, nothing. All the while, the table next to us had a server and one of the managers fawning all over them. So finally after 25 minutes of being ignored, I finally flagged down the manager and asked him to find our server for us. He instead suggested that he could take the order down for us and so we ordered with him instead. A few minutes later, I got the tea I ordered but hubby's beer was still a no show. About five minutes after I got my tea, a server (who I later found out was our server) walked by with another tea. When she realized I already got my tea, she kept walking and about another 5 minutes later, she finally showed up with the beer for my hubby. After this, I would say our service was decent. She came by to check on us after each dish was delivered to our table but she was never the one that delivered the dishes and she was never the one that cleared the empty plates off our table.
Honestly, the food here was no fresher than some of the other Japanese prices that I've been to but it's much more expensive.
When you first step in and look around, you can see that they're trying to go for the more fine dining/intimate feel but then you realize the music they're playing is bass heavy, which means when you're trying to speak to the person sitting next to you, you really have to raise your voice to be heard.
Overall, would not be visiting again. Didn't get what all the hype was about. Yes, there was a nice view and all the candles on the table and the dim lighting gave it that romantic feeling but then you get the loud talking everyone is reduced to because of the music and the mood is ruined. Food was only average (and makes you think twice about eating anything raw when you realize a lot of the stuff is pre-made and left sitting out in the open until someone orders it) and service is not on par with the fine dining they're trying to sell here.
I've always wanted to try this place and had the chance last week during lunch with a girlfriend before we headed out for a spa afternoon and shopping afterwards. I loved how welcome the host/hostess made you feel as soon as you entered the restaurant. After a huge round of "Welcome" in Japanese by the line of chefs, we were seated in the middle of restaurant, where we could see and hear most of the action of the open kitchen. Even at 1pm, this place was hopping. The floor to ceiling windows provided a nice open, bright, and vibrant glow that made a really nice eating space. We ordered a few appetizers and a sushi entree each. Everything looked amazing and tasted even better. The Ebi fritter was yummy and had pretty good sized prawns with mayo sauce. The tempura chicken was also quite delicious. For our mains we tried both the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi and the Aburi Saba Oshi Sushi. Both excellent and literally melted in our mouths like velvet. The Salmon was local salmon pressed and dressed with the Chef’s own soy & MIKU sauce, topped with jalapeño. For 6 pieces of this sushi, it was well worth it, every bite was incredible. The saba was house cured and pressed & dressed with MIKU miso sauce. Also very tasty and left us wanting another bite. We were pretty full even from these dishes so didn't quite have enough room for dessert, but I did fit in a strawberry sorbet. Fresh and tasty, yum. Overall, a really nice take on sushi with very unique offerings. Can't wait to try more of the menu next time when I don't have a diet restriction. =) Solid place - it's definitely a bit pricier than other places, but worth every bite in my opinion. =)
I tried this place when it first opened earlier in the year and was disappointed but I went for lunch and it was WAY BETTER. The food still had a modern presentation but now they got the taste right. The fish was FRESH and delicious. The rice bowl entrees were beautifully served and the box lunches a nice change from the Vancouver-standard bento boxes. Service was improved 110% too; language was not a problem now. The only complaint was maybe the noise; we were shouting at each other at our table due to the acoustics of the place. But I'll be back to try more from the menu.
This is such a great addition to the area! Came here for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The ambiance is extremely modern and gives off a very 'fusion-esq' feel to it, but definitely not the bad fusion a la "Wild Rice." I believe all their chefs are from the Tokyo and Kyoto area and the company itself apparently has a strong brand in Japan.
Had the Sashimi Salad, Miku Sushi Select Entree (which is a sampler of the Aburi Nigiri Sushi and some rolls), and Green Tea Ice Cream for dessert. The salad was a good little starter for things to come. Fish was really fresh and the sushi quality is great. The Aburi Mackerel and Aburi Salmon were both the highlights of the lunch - to quote Stewie Griffin "oh god [it's like] there's an orgy in my mouth!!"
I found the green tea ice cream, apparently made in-house, a bit too sweet for my taste.
The food is a bit on the pricey side, but definitely still a recommend. The Aburi style is definitely a niche that sets Miku apart from others. However, the sides like the sashimi salad were well prepared and tasted fantastic.
Having been to both restaurants, I believe Miku is on par with Tojo's. Looks like Tojo has some competition.
I went to Miku this evening and was very impressed with the quality of service, food and ambiance.
I tried the Omakase seven course dinner and as previously mentioned it is from items listed in the menu. Perhaps one way of looking at this is a sampler of different items from the menu. It was great. The dinner included a sampling of appetizer, aburi sushi, nigiri and maki sushi, a tasty soup, entree, and dessert. The seven course dinner ended with a very nice dessert. A pastry sampler of a high quality. Not terribly sweet or heavy - just right.
Definitely a higher end Japanese restaurant with a focus on aburi. I was informed that a champion sushi chef had just arrived from Japan.
Service was very attentive and there was no language barrier from the server.
Indeed a great dining experience and I will certainly be back again.
The only reason to go to Miku is Ebi Oshii. The rest is a waste of time - Service in Particular.
For a place that seems to have too much Staff, one would expect incredible Service.
Don't wait for it. It's not going to get better. Ever.
Several visits with people from out of town and even later to get Ebi Oshii take out, the place is roaring with business and the service is beyond Bad !
In the End, Miku comes across as one of those overpriced Tourist Traps - Great Location, some good food, but in general, not worthy - I've paid the last 200 dollar bill at Miku. Some things in life require putting up with it - Ebi Oshii is Outstanding, but not worth the annoyance of waiting for it.
Encourages me to learn to cook.
Upon arrival at Miku, there were several employees standing at the front to greet customers as they entered. The first thing I noticed was how loud it was in there. The staff were all yelling out to each other, which seemed very odd for a sushi place.
I was meeting a business associate at the sushi bar, so one of the ladies showed me in. The room itself is very nice with floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing lots of natural light in.
Unfortunately, the attention I received at the front did not extend to the sushi bar as I was basically ignored by the sushi chef and the servers. I had to literally flag someone down after about 5 minutes to get something to drink. Even then, the server did not bother to ask if I’d been there before, or if I had any questions. Luckily, my dining partner had been there before and explained how Miku differed from other sushi restaurants.
Basically, instead of serving soy sauce and wasabi with your sushi, they actually put their own type of sauce on top of the rolls and then sear it with a torch against a piece of charcoal. Interesting concept.
I ended up choosing the chef’s Premium selection so I could try a variety of items. You get 12 pieces for $25 and there is a combination of nigiri sushi and a few different rolls - the presentation was lovely. I can’t remember what types of rolls were served, (3 different kinds) but they were all very, very good. Some of the nigiri pieces were unagi, salmon, prawn and a few others that I wasn’t very familiar with. They all tasted very fresh and were decent sized pieces – I have to say, everything on the plate was excellent. I will admit that I did miss the added punch of wasabi & soya sauce, but it was still very good. I was also served a bowl of miso soup about halfway through finishing – nice & hot with a good flavour, but not exceptional.
If you compare Miku to other sushi restaurants, you do pay more for the quantity you get, but I believe the quality is higher and the type of sushi you get is far above what smaller, cheaper sushi places offer – ie: no simple California rolls here – they are all “fancied-up” and full of flavour.
I would recommend Miku if you wanted to try something a little different, but if you are more concerned about saving your money (and who isn’t, these days!) stick with some of the less expensive places downtown – there are plenty around that serve good sushi. Miku is more an “every-now-and-then” type places and not somewhere you’d go every week, unless of course, you have a decent expense account!
Came here for the first night of dineout. Unfortunately one of our party was half an hour late for our reservation, and she brought an extra person but our server was happy to accomodate us. Service was great, he made jokes and made appropriate suggestions to our food. Overall, the restaurant was nice, beautiful atmosphere, very open, friendly people. They also do the odd shouting thing at each other (much like Guu apparently, haven't been there myself).
To start off, I ordered a bottle of their Indigo Wind, which is sparkling sake. Can't say much, but I really enjoyed it (my first time having sake). Our appetizers arrived in beautiful presentation. Loved the aburi bincho, which was albacore tuna with masatake on top and veggies. The way it was put together really accented the true flavour of the tuna. The carpaccio was also absolutely delicious. Tiger prawns (ebi fritter) were beer battered and done perfectly, so so good. I was not a fan of the chicken nanban, it seemed a little out of place amongst all my other appetizers.
The main was exceptional, with a variety of their most popular rolls and nigri sushi. None of the sushi needed soya sauce. My favourite was the red wave roll, which was snow crab with avocado and the same masatake sauce on the aburi bincho. The pacific roll (mainly albacore tuna, cucumber, and tamago) was put together in a new way, but I just found okay because the jalapeno really took out a lot of the flavour. The alburi salmon oshi was good, but wish there was less pepper in it. Nigri sushi worth noting is their hotate (scallop) which had a very creamy sauce on top, delicious, and their bincho (albacore tuna) nigri sushi.
Honestly I would say that the dessert was a disappointment, but the appy and main made up for it. Dessert was caramelized apples on top of cobbler, with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. As much as it looked nice, it was just mediocre. And I would have expected something more traditionally Japanese.
Overall, I would say that the sushi here is delicious, however, may not be traditionally Japanese. Many of their rolls and nigri sushi are peaked and flavoured with sauces which sometimes overtake the taste of the fish. So I don't know, I'm no expert but I find this to be a little westernized. But, an amazing meal nevertheless. I paid $80 for dinner, $38 for dineout menu (so worth it), $23 for sparkling sake (200mL in case you're wondering), and a nice 20% tip.
I might come back if I'm feeling like I need some high class Japanese cuisine. Happy eating guys.
I felt very comfortable walking into the restaurant, we were greeted with a warm and friendly smile by the hostess, we didn't make reservations but we got seated right away. Our server was very pleasant, he knew what he was doing and was attentive. The decor was beautiful, great view of the coal habour, it was one of the most memorable night, the sun was just setting and the sky was orange-red and you could see the sunset while we were dining. I was really impressed with every dish we ordered, we started off with a salmon sashimi, it came with 2 soy sauce, the sweet soy sauce was perfect for the sashimi, I enjoyed the regular soy sauce more for sushi. The deep fried chicken with special sauce is absolutely delicious!! It was the best chicken dish ever, you could taste the sweet flavor of the chicken breast, so juicy and tender and on top was some kind of sauce that I couldn't stop eating and I dipped everything with! The salmon aburi roll is incredible! Dessert was beautifully presented, we had the creme brulee pyramid, it was very creamy and light. The shortbread cookie worked really well with the creme brulee! I would highly recommend Miku, it is definitely a must try if you love Japanese fine dining!
I agree that this is a great new addition to coal harbour (it's slim pickings out there). The food quality here is amazing. I haven't had one untasty item. Portion sizes need to be fine tuned. Some items seem outrageously expensive while others have great value. The aburi sushi is super tasty. Fish is super fresh. Shame they never seem to have torro & the selection of fish is limited. Really should have a fresh sheet. The service is strange. Hit & miss. I think it's important to hire professional servers at a restaurant like this, as it is an essential part of the dinning experience. Cant have one great server & the rest "a bit rough around the edges". We lost our server halfway through the meal when we declined a second bottle of sake. The decor is pretty but the table lengths are terrible. I felt so far away from my dinning companion & had to ask her to repeat herself several times throughout the evening. Overall, it's one of the better Japanese restaurants in downtown
A few of my friends have told me that this place is incredible, so I hit it up...twice...just to make sure I'm not passing the wrong judgement on this place.
The food itself is just ok...everything fried was actually pretty bad...whoever is doing the tempura and such was definately not doing a good job...if you see how tempura is made, and how its supposed to taste, you will know its not just "fried"...its very delicately made, which in this case, was not.
The rolls were pretty good, but nothing new. A lot of japanese restaurants have had these types of rolls for a long time...once again though, they are quite tasty.
The pressed sushi here is outstanding...I've had pressed sushi a many, but both selections here are great, and the salmon one is outstanding! it is a MUST order if you visit miku.
The sashimi was fresh, but very expensive and over priced. We had a 85$ chef platter, and it didn't come with much...the quality was good but not great...the presentation was very well done though.
Service was good both times I went. Both times I had a different server, but it seems like the staff enjoy working there. They have pleasant smiles, and are a prime example of what service should be like.
All in all its a good experience, i would repeat just for the ambiance...I think its a decent date place :)
Loved the food and especially the fresh tuna. They have an original style about their food. A little loud with the shouting from the kitchen staff. Cost them a few an outstanding grade on Ambiance as after sitting for an hour it got a little annoying. The sake choices where good and overall a solid night. Definitely would recommend.
They have an amazing lunch feature called the Miku Zen and for $18 you get mini versions of 4 of their top dishes, 4 pieces of their version of sushi (flame grilled salmon, tuna and shrimp) and a big bowl of miso soup. Their dishes are all fresh and very flavorful and leaves you extremely satisfied without feeling overwhelmed. Their food presentation is like art and as I am a very visual person gives an extra layer to my experience there. I have visited for lunch a number of times and have never been dissapointed with the food or the service. All of their staff speaks Japanese!
Miku is the latest member of Vancouver’s fine dining Japanese restaurant players. With renowned restaurateur Seigo Nakamura at the helm, I will admit prior to my first visit, I envisioned teams of blue fin tuna dashing about through pools of premium sake. They did not fail me, however the additions of fusion-style menu items left me perplexed and ultimately turned-off.
The space is an open concept with high ceilings and large surrounding windows. However, the industrial freezer look of stainless steel mixed with high school halogen gym lighting fails to achieve the upscale urban minimalist look I believe Nakamura was aiming for. Although a dream for some (think Christian Bale’s character from American Psycho), the décor was too cold and unappetizing for me. Ladies alert: horrible lighting for first date impressions…basically, no amount of cover up is going to save you sister.
I opted for the Omakase 7 course chef’s dinner priced at $60CDN. Traditionally, Omakase is a style in which the chef prepares what he sees fit. (Definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omakase). Previous experiences at other restaurants proved satisfying as chefs created dishes based on the fresh and limited ingredients available at the time. The Omakase service at Miku however, consists of items on the regular menu.
First Course: “Vegetable Salad-Organic Greens, Tomato, Bell Pepper, Onion, Cucumber and Parmesan with Balsamic Vinaigrette.” Now as much as I love food, I have never been one to mix different types of food at one sitting. Yes, you will not find me at The Sizzler Buffet with a plate full of coleslaw, curry chicken, "oriental" salad and meatballs. Actually you’d probably never find me at The Sizzler—but you get what I mean. So having said that, parm followed by sashimi isn’t really doing it for me. In fact, I think I may have threw up in my mouth a little.
Second Course: Sashimi Plate. Standard servings of Sake/Salmon, Maguro/Tuna and Hamachi/Yellowtail were simple, but delicious.
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Hubby and I had dinner wtih friends who had dined here on 2 other occasions. So glad they introduced us to some pretty special sushi. We were greeted wtih the typical loud, friendly greeting but the sushi.is not your typical fare. Presentation is really beautiful: Oshi sush is like nigiri sushi only it's rectangular and "toppings" are layered. Hubby isn't a super big fan of seafood but he loved the oshi and roll sushi. The flavours are wonderful - not aggressive but a gentle mingling of flavours. Soya sauce and wasabi would be spoilers as accompaniements (you won't find any on the plate). We ordered Aburi Saba Oshi Sushi, Saba Bo Sushi, Coal Harbour roll, King roll, and a few others that I can't remember. All were really good. Calamari is one of the best, very tender, light batter and not all all greasy. The tartar sauce added a little tartness which was nice but it didn't convert me into a tartar sauce fan. The Abouri Kamo Somen was my least favourite. It's a very restrained and light dish: the somen was very nice but the warm dashi broth was too cold for my liking - I prefer hot broth - and the duck was flavourful but nothing to rave about. Wine selection by the glass is limited but I tried 3 Blancs and it was nice lightly fruity and not sweet. Decor and ambience gives an upscale feel without being too upscale like a high end restaurant in a hotel so it feels relaxed. It is a bit on noisy side. Service is friendly. Not pretentious at all. It's on the pricey side so it wouldn't be a bi-weekly stop for us. However, the food is not overpriced for the quality, creativity, and presentation so it's going onto our roster of restaurants and a place to bring out of town friends.
Sorry for the lame title...
Went yesterday for my sister's birthday celebration. I've always loved this place so in my mind it would have been a good choice regardless, but then again, I haven't dined here in a good few months.
To my dismay, when I saw one of my favourite dishes, the Saba Bo Battera Sushi was gone, I was expecting a downhill night. Reluctantly, I ordered the Aburi Saba Oshi Sushi in lieu of the missing Saba Bo. I remember having the Saba Oshi a while back and it was the lesser tasting companion. For some reason though, this time it worked! Not only did the Saba Oshi taste way better than I remembered, the taste was also comparable to that of the Saba Bo. They must have made some sort of improvement to it. And I loved it! It didn't have the ginger that the Saba Bo had, but the Miso dressing tasted sweeter than I remember, the the fish tasted fattier (not in a greasy way). The charcoally taste was also a lot more prominent this time around.
And of course, the usual Aburi Salmon Oshi sushi is always delectable, with the nice mayo crust and jalapeno kick. I could eat 2 orders of that on my own. Without flinching.
The crunchy scallop rolls are also a favourite of mine. Essentially, it's a glorified chopped scallop roll, sans mayo and with crispy pieces all around to give it some texture.
The kampachi carpaccio was nice. MUCH better than the hamachi carpaccio counterpart. The kampachi was fresh. Albeit, cut see-through thing, but the onions and sauce made it super tasty.
Also had the spicy maguro yukke, which was good, but I didn' t love it as much as everything else. It tasted a bit like negitoro sans onions and with a spicy sauce on top. Served with andives, it certainly was creative, but not memorable.
I'm never a fan of the cooked foods here, so I don't have much to say. But I'd just recommend aburi sushi and other raw dishes when coming here, cause that's more my thing.
Overall, as good as I remember. Service was better this time around too, as my glass was never empty and my plate was swapped out for a new one almost for every dish that came. It's a pricy place, but worth it, in my opinion. I'm still a fan.
Just coming back from Japan a couple of weeks ago I had a craving for some real Japanese food. Warning to all those looking for a $10.99 all you can eat sushi joint....STAY AWAY. You will be greatly disappointed. But if you want real high end Japanese food with extreme attention to details, this is your restaurant.
My wife and I decided to go for the 7 course Omakase course at $75.00 per head. Without getting into this meal course by course, this was by far one of the best dining experiences I have had in this fair city in a long while.
We were seated just in front of the aburi /sushi station and noted in amazement the detail paid by the executive chef. He would look at the plated sushi and realized there was too much rice with the sushi. He would literally remove the 7-10 grains of rice and re-shape it until he was happy with it.
Though the service of the wait staff was solid they could certainly improve upon it. It's the fine details they have to work on. Black dress shoes shouldn't be scuffed, female staff should have their hair "up" so they don't have to constantly adjust their "do" with their hands. It's the hygiene thing that really bothered me. I am sure, in time, they will improve upon it.
Sushi (aburi) was great and very flavorful. No real need for the saoy sauce or the extra wasabi . Really enjoyed the Aburi Salmon with the one very thin slice of Jalapeno. Surprisingly, this works very well. Amaebi was very fresh and was impressed they served the fried shrimp head with the amaebi. Very Japanese!
Ambience at first glance is fantastic right down to the pebbled walkway. The only issue I found was the sound of the exhaust fans from the open kitchen . In fact, you could barely hear the background music. It was even difficult to hear the staff describe each course.
Would I go back? Yes, in a heartbeat.
The one time we dined there we left in shock by how badly we were treated with the food. When we first came in they didn't seem too welcoming with the this-is-a-high-end-restaurant-you-don't-belong-here kind of attitude. Our conversation was then brutally interrupted over and over again by the waitress over most of the times nothing and she didn't once apologize. Then they decided to grill our sushi. Yeah, they cooked the raw fish.
Apart from that, my other thoughts were 1) the location is great you can stroll along the water after dining. 2) The food was not good and I didn't find it up to its reputation here. 3) Parking can be troublesome if you go there at peak time and you don't know the area well.
A new favorite. We are at Miku almost every other weeken. I'd be there every day if I could. Everything is fresh & amazing. Great presentation. If you are willing to trust the chef, that is the best way to try everything. The sake list is amazing too. Honestly I will never go back to Tojo's again