Address: 10 Bay St #105, Toronto, ON M5J 2R8
Phone: (647) 347 – 7347
Miku decided to open its second location in Downtown Toronto, after its first in Vancouver. I read many positive reviews about the restaurant online and am delighted to know they are opening in Toronto and very desperate to try it out. Finally, for my birthday celebration, we visited Miku for dinner.
Location is great, on Queens Quay, so before or after the meal, you can take a walk. Parking is so expensive all around, $20/night. The cheapest I found is at Habourfront Center, a ten minute walk west is $12/night. Therefore, my advice is to either carpool or walk long distances, only if you are frugal.
The decor was simple and romantic with the lights are hidden under countertops or inside mouldings. It had a comforting and relaxing atmosphere. There were many unoccupied seats and wasted space for the large area. The design can be better utilized and lacked a theme. Harmony was achieved by the lighting, natural wood and white colours. It felt more like an upscale cafe than a Japanese restaurant. It was missing a centrepiece or a common element.
We had a problem with the cleanliness of their dining ware continuously. Our cups were switched twice because of a alcohol scent and taste. Just in case, we also asked the server to bring us new jugs of water to ensure the alochol was not in the water. But the restaurant was very accommodating and fulfilled all our requests. Therefore, service was great.
Albacore Tuna and Wakame Tartare ($18) served with wakame seaweed, avocado, red onion, cucumber, wasabi creme fraiche, spicy seaweed vinaigrette, baby greens and sesame wonton crisps was delicious. Everything was very fresh and the vinaigrette helped bring out the flavours of the tuna. They just bonded well together. I just feel there were more accommodating sides than the main ingredient, so it seems the tartare was overshadowed, almost nonexistent.
Smoked Soy Grilled Octapus ($20) was served with togarashi spiced crispy chicken skin, micro kale, sea salt crusted baby potato, meyer lemon, wasabi chimichurri and aloli. The octapus tentacle was grilled the right amount, chewy enough. If they grilled it for another minute, it might be too hard and give a rubber texture. To be honest, this was a close call. The octopus had a simple salt and pepper flavour. Reality, majority of the flavours really come from the decorative sides to add some interest and diversity. Once again, the main octopus was overshadowed by the sides.
Kaisen Soba Peperoncino ($28) is buckwheat soba noodles stir fried with prawns, scallop, squid, mussels using chili-garlic soy, finished with sweet pepper, shitake mushrooms, tomatoes, and wild arugula. This was probably my favourite dish of the night. The dish had very strong sesame and soy flavour , but was slight oily. There was a generous amount of seafood in the noodles and all quite fresh, cooked just right, where the texture was soft and springy. It felt healthy for incorporating the food groups and was the only hot dish we ordered, so it was comforting to the stomach.
Pork Belly with Seared Sweetbreads ($29) on a bed of sweet miso balsamic reduced sauce, Japanese karashi mustard, red veined sorrel, roasted grapes, brussels sprouts, and red cabbage. This is a very different dish from what I envisioned it to be. To be honest, I never knew what sweetbread was, and I thought it was pork belly resting on a piece of baguette type of thing. When it arrived with no bread, I searched online to learn sweetbread was a thyroid throat area. I did not enjoy the texture, was soft like jello and had the odd organ flavour. The pork belly was not crispily seared, was kind of soggy. The sauce was more sweet than I also envisioned too. Overall, I was disappointed by the dish.
Miku Roll ($23) was made with salmon, crab, uni, cucumber, rolled in tobiko, and topped with Miko sauce. It had no wow factor. It was basically a standard roll. I find it really soft and fell apart easily. But I did like the tobiko where it felt like bubbles bursting in your mouth with every bite.
Salmon Oshi Sushi ($17) is pressed BC wild sockeye salmon, topped with jalapeno and Miku Sauce. Ebi Oshi Sushi ($17) is pressed prawn, topped with lime zest and ume sauce. Saba Oshi Sushi ($16) is pressed house-cured mackerel, with miso sauce. Each type of sushi comes in eight pieces. This was also my favourite dish of the evening too and Miku is well known for it. The sushi was sturdy and rice was sticky with hint of rice vinegar. With the torched fish on top, it added flavours and texture to the sushi. The salmon sushi was fragrant and tangy with their specialized Miku sauce, which was like sweet and sour. The mackerel was so fresh that it had no residual unlikeable fishy taste, and paired well with the saltiness of the miso sauce. You would not know it was prawn sushi if specifically noted, but I enjoyed the zesty flavours of the lime, which also helped dissolve some of the fat, turning into oil. Because the three types of oshi sushi were torched, therefore they gave a hint of the charcoal flavour, making them more appetizing and flavourable.
Green Tea Opera Cake ($13.5) was layered with green tea genoise, matcha butter cream, dark chocolate ganache, adzuki bean cream, and hazelnut wafer. The dessert was just simply scrumptious. I could not have enough of it! It was not too sweet and had strong green tea matcha flavours. I really liked how the wafer gave the cake an extra crunchy texture, instead of a cake with full creamy mousse smoothness. The cake was really rewarding to have after the meal.
Portions were very small and pricey for that amount. No one was full after the dinner and was not satisfied. I was annoyed how there were more side ingredients than the main, overshadowing them. We had too much expectations for the restaurant, but the higher the expectations, the easier to be disappointed.