Vancouver's restaurants are definitely one: international, varied and, above all, good. There are only a few cities where the guest can dine in such a variety of ways as in the metropolis on Canada's west coast. In addition, Vancouver's restaurant scene attracts numerous award-winning chefs from all over the world, who excel with their skills. That's why something special has become so popular in this city within a few years as Miku's Restaurant. This was achieved by Seigo Nakamura, who moved 2008 along with his company to Canada. His restaurant has already won several awards.
Already in Japan Seigo Nakamura specialized in Aburi Sushi. This form of shushi was developed in Japan about a century ago. These are sushi, which are fried with an open flame. This increases the natural taste of the fish. Seigo's recipe for success is based on serving traditional sushi new-age sauces using non-traditional ingredients that emphasize the unique taste of each species and immediately appeal to the European-trained palate. Soy and wasabi are not among the usual side dishes of semi-raw salmon on rice, aburi shrimp or fried chicken aburi. Instead, there is avocado sauce, mayonnaise from cod roe or jalapenos.
If you go out to eat at Miku, you should prepare for extraordinary experiences. Where is the guest already shouting at a number of chefs while he is looking for the way to his table. However, a glance at the screaming cooks quickly shows the astonished European that they mean it friendly, because they smile at each guest warmly. On request, the friendly waiter quickly explains that this is a warm welcome - just Japanese style - and the sushi chefs welcome their guests. At Miku, which means "beautiful sky", there is a lively atmosphere that makes the restaurant experience something special.
The modern and minimalist decor of the restaurant matches this. There are no frills at all. Clear lines and colors define the room, which is very bright thanks to its glass walls that surround it on three sides. Monochrome leather chairs and tables with stone slabs are lined up along the glass front and in front of the long counter, behind which the sushi is prepared. The blue rear wall of the kitchen and the wooden front of the bar provide additional splashes of color.
The sushi is cooked in an open kitchen, so that each guest has full insight into the kitchen scene. Along the long counter are prepared plates with rice snacks, on which thin slices of salmon, yellowtail, shrimp or even chicken meat are served, which are only waiting for their order. Only then they are freshly fried with a kind of Bunsen burner whose open fire heats meat or fish from above. The result is a slightly seared, extremely tender sushi that melts on the tongue.
Choosing the right food is difficult for many Europeans. The dishes are explained on the menu, but who knows what a Tosazu sauce or homemade ponzu or yuzu kosho is? As a rule, there is only one thing that can help: to have the friendly and extremely helpful waiter explain everything to you or to rely on the chef's recommendation. This puts together a daily selection of certain dishes that either consist solely of fish, contain seasonal ingredients or even only contain certain types of fish. There are also specially marked dishes on the menu that the chef himself recommends.
Petar and I were lucky enough to have dinner at Miku's with a friend who was already very familiar with the area and who helped us choose. We decided on Miku Zen, a selection of ten different seasonal sushi put together by the chef: four from the kitchen and six from the sushi bar. The combination of salmon sushi on tofu, chicken aburi with one of Seigo's special sauces, Cod aburi on horseradish and mixed vegetables with sesame turned out to be a real culinary delight. The sushi practically melted on your tongue, they were so tender. However, the dishes were ennobled by my husband, whom I was only able to convince with difficulty to eat “raw” fish. He enjoyed Miku's food to the fullest and was not disturbed by the cheerful farewell greeting from the cooks that they shouted at us when we left the restaurant again - probably full and very satisfied.
Note: The restaurant description in this article is no longer correct, as the restaurant has moved from its original address on West Hastings Street to the waterfront. However, it still serves sushi of a special kind - now overlooking the harbor of Vancouver and Canada Place. Another reason to try this restaurant while staying in Vancouver!
70-200 Granville Street
Granville Square (Canada Place Way and Howe Street)
Canada V6C 1S4
Source: own research on site. The trip took place at the invitation of Tourism BC and the Canadian Tourism Commission. Our opinion remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline