Monday, May 25, 2015


Located in Downtown Vancouver and near Canada Place lies Miku, a Japanese restaurant with a waterfront view that specializes in fusion and Aburi cuisine. Or, simply known as a must visit restaurant in Vancouver. Aburi cuisine is sushi or sashimi that is partially seared, which provides that smokiness and richness with the addition of sauces.

Miku is also considered a fine dining restaurant and with the higher prices, location and atmosphere it is certainly a restaurant where I would take out of town guests or go with a large group of friends. With that said however, I would never come here just for the food because I find the restaurant very inconsistent along with the service and nothing special.

My guest and I arrived on a weekend for dinner and we were offered a seat on the patio, which has an amazing view of course. We were told the patio is heated all year round and would not be cold at all, but man… we were freezing!

The "heated" patio was practically on the lowest setting and I could not help but think how Black + Blue or Coast Restaurant's heated patio are actually heated, heated to the point where the you feel warmth just by past the restaurants! To be fair though, Miku provides blankets but I am too OCD to use them (I rather not  have to wrap myself in a blanket when I am at a restaurant too). On top of that, it was more disappointing when despite that other tables were cold as well, the management could not change heat setting.

"Chef's selection of sashimi, fresh oysters, mussels, jumbo prawns, kaisen poke, scallop ceviche, kale goma-ae". We ordered the Miku Waterfront Platter to start and there is a cheaper alternative, which is the Coal Harbour Platter for $29.00 that includes the same items excluding sashimi.

Rating: 2.5/5.
Despite that the medium mussels are a touch dry and the clams stick to their shells, both taste naturally sweet. As for the kusshi oysters, they lack that fresh sweetness and a couple are poorly shucked.

Rating: 2.5/5.
Continuing to the next item, the Kale Goma-ae is nicely prepared where it is neither overcooked nor too chewy and exhibits a nice texture. I especially like how there is a strong roasted sesame flavour and the kale tastes fresh. My guest complained about how he preferred a stronger peanut flavour though.

Rating: 3.5/5.
Moving to the assortment of sashimi, the whole selection tastes fresh. I highly doubt that Miku will ever have a problem regarding the freshness of their sashimi because the restaurant is always busy. Starting with the hamachi, the sashimi tastes buttery and exhibits that deep burgundy color. Following, the red tuna tastes smooth, the proper cut is served and it is not stringy one bit (Ajisai!). There are also no complaints with the sockeye salmon or tuna.

JUMBO PRAWNS || Rating: 5/5
Ending the Miku Waterfront Platter are some mini dishes. Beginning with the best, the jumbo prawns are indeed jumbo! Buttery, large and bouncy, the prawns are delicious. The Kaisen Poke however, is nothing special. Seaweed, onion and tuna tossed with a strong flavour of a light soy sauce and sesame oil. Another not so special dish is the scallop ceviche, where there is a tangy sauce and bits of kiwi. I would have preferred a large scallop sliced rather than slices of a medium one too.

10oz AAA STERLING SILVER PRIME RIB, "5 hour sous-vide, brown butter wasabi sauce, vegetables, yukon potato puree baked with iwa-nori butter" ($36.00).
Rating: 1.5/5.
After a longer than usual wait for our entrees, we assume it is because the food was sitting at the counter for too long because the prime rib arrived luke warm rather than hot. The steak is prepared to a medium rare as requested but tastes chewy and not juicy, to the point where my plate was filled with unappealing pieces of chewed and spat out meat LOL. I did get embarrassed when a server picked up my plate but she did not seem to care, so meh.

As for the brown butter wasabi, I like how we could pick up the wasabi flavour. We also ate our steak with chopsticks and never got the proper cutely until we were half way done. Not cool. But at least our server eventually noticed that she never brought any I guess...

Rating: 2.5/5.
Our potato puree arrived a few minutes after the steak and as seen in the photo, we used chopsticks to eat as well. The puree does taste good though, where the consistency is creamy and there is a nutty flavour from the seared topping. The puree arrived warm too and not luke warm like the steak :).

MIKU SIGNATURE SELECTION, "Chef's selection of traditional and Aburi nigiri, oshi and specialty rolls" ($35.00).
Rating: 2.5/5.
The middle row includes Salmon Oshi, Ebi Oshi, Miku Roll and a fried head from the amaebi.
The Ebi Oshi tastes creamier, sharper and richer than the Salmon Oshi. It is not buttery at all, but has a sharper and heavier taste which I prefer more. As for the Miku Roll consisting of salmon, red tuna, uni and cucumber rolled with tobiko, the tobiko provides a nice crunchy element to a filler. Last up, the fried amaebi head tastes cold and very oily. This is the most unappealing fried amaebi head that I have ever had thus far. Further along to the bottom row, the Amaebi tastes buttery as well as fresh. The rice is also well seasoned but the nigiri fell apart.

The last row includes Wagyu and Hirame.
The Wagyu of course exhibits a smoky seared flavour and tastes extremely tender, way better than the prime rib! As for the Hirame, it is the only Aburi style nigiri that has a smoky flavour excluding the Wagyu. In my opinion overall, I rather order a plate of Premium Aburi Nigiri for $26.00 and order a better selection of nigiri than Kanpachi and Hotate.

SALMON OSHI SUSHI, "Pressed BC wild sockeye salmon, jalapeño, miku sauce" ($16.00).
Rating: 3/5.
The Salmon Oshi Sushi tastes fatty, creamy and rich while exhibiting a hint of sweetness. The rice also tastes very soft and is properly prepared. However, I was disappointed that the plate arrived cold rather than at a room temperature (from the searing) unlike previous visits. When thinking back to Takumi Sushi, I rather try their Battera instead of Miku's Oshi.

For $100.00/person between us two, we may have been better off trying Miku's Kaiseki menu. Or maybe just pass on the Waterfront Platter and Prime Rib. The food overall on this visit was very disappointing and I would honestly only bring out of town guests here for a snack rather than a full dinner. With regards to the service, it is more disappointing when the restaurant is not even busy and the staff is forgetful or the food arrives cold. Would I continue to tag along to Miku with friends? Naa, I will force everyone to pass on the waterfront view and find a new Japanese restaurant LOL. But having said all of this, I still consider Miku a must try restaurant in Vancouver.

- Cannot beat the view
- For those who want aburi style cuisine

- Very slow service
- Food is inconsistent
- Misinforming hostess
- Heated patio is not really heated

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 1/5

200 Granville Street Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4
Telephone (604) 568-3900

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