Minami is an aburi sushi spot in the heart of Yaletown. Minami is the sister restaurant of Miku Restaurant.
Looks like a nice place. The staff really try. The food is quite okay.
And that's about all the highlights.
Let's see ...
The menu, not really expansive, but looks like there is a few unique items, so generally passable. For a place like this, would've expected more.
The ebi fritters were nice, nothing outstanding. We also had some soba noodles with meat sauce. Seriously, it's like, well, eating spaghetti with meat sauce, except with soba. Good? Yes, okay, but not terribly difficult to make nor inventive and certainly not for the price.
The sashimi platter was crazy. Bog standard items, I think I counted tuna, saba, salmon, ebi and scallops? Maybe one more. Get this, one piece per person at $20 per person ($40 total for a 2-person order). Absolutely ridiculous. For the volume of food, even at the best places in town, it would be about half that cost. And it wasn't amazing. Good, not amazing. Not $40 amazing.
The rolls were actually quite good and well-liked by all, we even ordered a 2nd round for some of them. I would give these a thumbs up.
The staff, quite friendly, definitely earnest, but not experienced nor high end. Which means whoever is training them is likely the same. They kept trying to take away our plates before we were finished (restaurant was not full, no line up), water service was very spotty. One waitress tried to appear knowledgeable and explained the items on the sashimi plate to us. SERIOUSLY? In Vancouver? For a bone standard plate of sashimi? That's a first for me and one of the party mentioned it was nearly insulting. Do we look like a bunch of country bumpkins to you? (I don't think she was being insulting, she was just doing as she was told and trying to be helpful, just lacking experience).
And to top it off, the prices were high. Not good value this place.
Would not return. Not recommended. Oh wait, no, it is definitely recommended if you're a poseur with lots of money to throw around. Like the guy who came in on a date with a nice girl yet kept chatting on his phone trying to look important instead of paying attention to the most important person in the room...
We had eaten here when Bud Kanke's Goldfish was here and enjoyed the ambience, although unless there is a breeze coming through it can get a little warm as there is no air conditioning. The decor is still stellar with current ownership having put their own stamp on it.
The service was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable with Katie, who looked after us, adding to our favourable impressions. The wine list was quite extensive with a few less expensive options for both the white and red wines, something I like to see in Yaletown as many of the restaurateurs don't see the necessity to offer at least a few reasonable alternatives.
The food, with one exception, was top notch. For appetizers we had the prawn fritters (ebi fritters) and the prawn gyoza, both of which I would recommend. My wife had the sable fish which was delicious as I managed to steal a bite when she wasn't looking. The only disappointment was the salmon which was purportedly prepared in the "sous vide" method. I had expected this to result in a tender, moist piece of salmon but what resulted was very dry and tasteless. Unfortunate.
Overall I would certainly recommend this restaurant which I'm sure will only improve the longer they are in business.
Went here with four people and the bill came to over $400... which I am fine with paying every now and then; however the food here is only slightly above regular sushi fare and the service was very poor. Let's start with the food.
Several of the roles are slightly more interesting than what you find at a typical sushi restaurant given that they are seared or heated up with a blow torch but I have been to their sister restaurant Miku and somehow the exact same roll tasted way better at Miku. Additionally, I feel that their sashimi and nigiri platters were overpriced as you can get the exact same thing and same quality at other establishments in Vancouver for half the price.
In regards to service, we had an eight o'clock reservation yesterday and they didn't seat us until half an hour later. The hostesses really need to get it together--when we arrived early for our reservations they told us to come back in ten minutes and yet didn't seat us until 40 minutes later with no apology. When I inquired about the waitress simply said "300 people came in one hour!"--well that may be so but that's why people book reservations... Additionally throughout the meal the waitstaff stumbled over explaining what was in the dishes and presented excuse after excuse "sorry--we just switched the fall menu etc". I can forgive some missteps but it was just everything taken in combination that made for a pretty underwhelming dining experience. At least my personal company kept the dinner from being a total disaster.
In the end I was incredibly embarrassed that I suggested this place to my friends as we are accustomed to much better service and value.