Being a foodie couple, you can imagine date night with Mr. would most likely be a visit to a new or hot restaurant in town. Thanks to our partner at Lincoln Motors, we were sent on a Blogger Date Night experience that’s much more exciting and unique. Not only daid we get to enjoy a nice dinner at a restaurant of our choice, but we also got to drive a new Lincoln MKZ for a day, which was right up Mr.‘s alley. Many of you aren’t aware, but Mr. is a huge car guy; he reads up a lot about cars, and he enjoys fixing up his cars. The car guy in Mr. plus the foodie in me, this date night couldn’t be more fitting. And, it was the day before the blog’s 4th anniversary. Yes, this is how we celebrated our 4th anniversary — in style!
We went to Miku Restaurant for dinner. It has been on my list for awhile now, since its former Coal Harbour location. Now that it has moved to a prime location neighbouring Canada Place, I was quite excited to have the opportunity to check it out.
We started with a couple of cocktails and some appies. Of the two cocktails, I quite liked the Miyazaki Mango. It was strong with the dark rum, but the mango flavour made it tropical and the ginger beer gave it a subtle kick.
First of all, we ordered some of my favourite oysters, Kusshi. I like that they aren’t too big, but with a crisp, refreshing cucumber taste. Fresh Oysters here are served with 3 sauces. The kaffir lime mignonette and ginger cocktail sauce are a twist of the traditional mignonette and cocktail sauce, so they worked pretty well. Personally I didn’t understand the wasabi chimichurri. It reminded me of the green onion/ginger mixture that Chinese people dip their steamed chicken in; it was too overpowering and covered up the original taste of the oysters.
Miku prides themselves for their Aburi style of cooking (giving the fish a light sear directly from open flame then match each of them with a specialty sauce), so it’s on our must-try list. The Aburi Sashimi was a trio of fish:
- Red tuna with a sweet onion masatake sauce
- Hamachi with an avocado citrus sauce
- Atlantic Salmon with a mentiko cod roe mayo
The light sear on the outside enhances the natural flavours by cooking up some of the fish oil, made it taste slightly fattier, and adding a charred taste to the fish. They were all very good, and each specialty sauce paired quite well with the fish. Of the three, I enjoyed the salmon the most; the fish slices had the right amount of fat while the mayo added extra richness to them.
Continuing with some share plates, the Cast Iron Baked Mussels reminded me of what I once really enjoyed at The Cannery. They tasted like grilled with a hint of smokey flavours, which paired well with the rich, fatty, thick-cut wild boar bacon. The fried brussels sprouts were also very good (seriously, this should be the only way to eat brussels sprouts!). The dish comes with a dipping butter, but we thought it’s a bit too much. Just on their own this plate of mussels were quite addictive.
I can’t help but compare Miku’s Aburi Beef Carpaccio to what we had at Mosaic, and Mosaic still comes out on top. They are very similar dishes, but Miku uses a different cut of meat, and the slices are thicker – it just didn’t have the melt-in-your-mouth feeling that made it so memorable at Mosaic. Kudos to Miku for their use of interesting sauces, but I think the egg white in the 64-degree egg masks a lot of the unique flavours that the sauces have to offer.
Finally, we had whetted our appetite for the sushi course! There were many options and we just couldn’t decide what to try, so we ended up trying many kinds. The Premium Aburi Sushi Plate was a good introduction to Aburi sushi; it included:
- Red tuna with sweet onion masatake sauce
- Hamachi with citrus avocado
- Albacore tuna with a miso glaze
- Mackerel with a house cured negitio sauce
- Ebi with a creamy pesto
- Scallop with a mentiko cod roe sauce
- Sockeye salmon with grainy mustard
Similar to the Aburi sashimi, each piece of sushi is paired with a specialty sauce. The highlight for me was probably the hamachi, mackerel and albacore tuna. I feel that the Aburi style works better with fish that have a strong flavour profile. Ebi and scallop are too light in flavour so the charred taste and special sauce become a bit over-powering.
The Aburi Oishi Sushi (pressed sushi, Aburi style) is Miku’s specialty, and we were able to sample the three kinds: Salmon, Ebi and Mackerel. I personally liked the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi the most (hmm can you see the pattern here?) because I enjoyed the rich, fatty texture of the seared salmon combined with the Miku sauce, and the thin slice of jalapeno just gave it a little kick.
Our sushi course was paired with a Sake Flight. We have very little experience with sake so this is a good intro to this liquor. We also sampled the Aburi Ginjo, which is Miku’s exclusive house label of sake.
Of course, we also had to try the classic nigiri sushi. We were spoiled with the O Toro and Wagyu Nigiri. The fatty toro was of excellent quality but the surprise was in the Wagyu sushi – it just melts in your mouth. Top notch meat with a nice sear – not something you get often at a Japanese restaurant. Very good!
And just as we thought we were stuffed, we made room for some dessert. Miku was kind enough to do an inscription for VanFoodies’ 4th anniversary.
This was the Green Tea Opera cake, my favourite dessert of the evening. I liked the Asian flair in the class Opera cake. Even though it has many layers including chocolate ganache, it’s surprisingly light.
The other dessert was the Chocolate Banana Dome. It was rich! It’s like eating Ferrero Rocher with banana in it. It’s chocolaty, nutty, and creamy. This is perfect for chocolate lovers, just make sure to make room for it.
Our Sweet Ride
After this satisfying dinner, we cruised around town in the Lincoln MKZ. I will leave the commentary to Mr. but overall I was quite impressed with the car. A lot of the features such as park assist, lane-keeping and GPS make driving and navigating easier.
I especially liked the panoramic skyroof – on a clear evening, this would be perfect for star/moon-gazing.
As a girl, of course I would be attracted to something like the ambient lighting. You can change it based on your mood or whatever the occasion calls for. I also appreciated the power seats (something I don’t get in my 13-year-old SUV) that allows you to move up and down, forward and backward, or even tilt backward and lean forward (at an angle). You may think it’s a small matter but it’s very important to a petite girl like me!
This was definitely a memorable way to celebrate our blog’s 4th anniversary. Overall food and service quality at Miku definitely live up to my expectation. It may not be a place for your everyday dinner but the food, service and its gorgeous view just call for a visit for your next special occasion.
Well, this was a date night, so it’s only fair if Mr. also had the opportunity to tell you what he thinks – click here for his thoughts on this date!
#70 – 200 Granville Street, Vancouver