It was my dear friend @jminter’s birthday, so the gang and I decided to take him to Vancouver’s newest hot spot.
Minami has taken over the old Goldfish Kitchen space in Yaletown. Very airy and modern, the restaurant is gorgeous. The murals were done by Hideki Kimura – a school of golden Koi fish swimming upstream. At the back of the restaurant there’s an ample patio that I’m sure will be a local hot spot as soon as we get some decent summer weather. Minami is the sister restaurant of Miku downtown, both owned by Seigo Nakamura.
Of course my first thoughts were how would Minami compare to Miku. I love Miku, it’s one of my favourite all-time restaurants, so I knew that Minami had some big shoes to fill.
The menu stays focused on their signature Aburi-style sushi, as well as some new and innovative dishes. I asked around twitter what I should have, and I was told by
@chengsophia not to miss their Jidori Chicken and Foie Gras Gyoza ($18)
The presentation for this dish was delectable. The gyoza came with a truffle dashi consomme that was very rich. This was interesting, as I was expecting the gyoza to be a tad heavier because the foie gras, but no, they were pretty light.
We had several sushi dishes at our table, and they did not disappoint. I continue to recommend the Aburi Salmon Oshi Oshi, this is, in my opinion, one of the best rolls in the city. But we knew that the sushi would be outstanding, that is what Miku is famous for anyways, so I decided to order something different.
The Washu Beef Soba ($17) was calling my name. I’ve never had Washu beef before, but you’ve heard the tales, These cows are treated better than some humans: raised in Matsusaka Japan, the cows are fed tofu, ground wheat and beer, as well as receive regular massages. Soothing music is played to the cattle to calm them in order to provide better beef.
The beef was prepared bolognaise style, with tempura maitake mushrooms. It was really good, and the beef was very tender, but my peasant taste buds could not have told the difference between this particular beef and any other.
I was eyeing my friend’s dinner, and I love it when they offer me a taste of theirs. I always get food envy and I wonder if they ordered something better that I did. The Kaisen Soba Pepperoncino ($17) was looking quite tempting. It came with shrimp, squid, scallops, sweet pepper, shiitake mushrooms and jalapeños. You don’t taste the heat on this dish until afterwards, when it hits the back of your throat. Nice.
We tried some of their homemade sorbet for dessert, with flavours such as lime-chamomile and mandarin, it makes for a nice light finish to a meal.
Our service was very attentive: our water was always topped up and dishes were cleared promptly. The food is good, but I am still a bigger fan of Miku. Still, Minami should be experienced, and I’m glad I did.
Follow them on twitter: @minamiyaletown