Only a legendary aburi-style Japanese restaurant could make its way to the harbourfront of Toronto and score a colossal piece of real estate there. The day I found out, I immediately thought of an excuse to break my wallet to go. An anniversary going on 5 and a half years with the significant other? That's a good enough reason, I thought. Ever since I visited Miku's sister restaurant Minami about one year ago, I was dreaming of the day I'd have a bite of their mouthwatering Aburi sushi again.
Miku is a gorgeous 7000 sq ft restaurant with a raw bar, sushi bar, and a large patio. It's contemporary upscale design is appealing to the Southern Financial District ridden with corporate workers in business suits year-round. For anyone else not looking to woo clients, this is the perfect place for you to take your loved ones, your hot date, or a really special friend you deem worthy of splurging with.
The menu focuses on Aburi sushi as well as fresh seafood, and this style uses a torch to transform sushi. Nakamura, CEO of Aburi Restaurants Ltd., aims to push the boundaries of sushi and Japanese dining in Toronto in a positive way.
Miku has a large beverage collection with signature cocktails, wines, and an extensive sake list. What's really phenomenal is the fact that they brew their sake in-house.
We decided on the Miku Kaiseki, one of their three chef's tasting menus, priced at $95 per person and comes with five courses. It honours the roots of traditional Kaiseki, where they use special pottery produced in that particular area in Japan.
The presentation and flavours of each dish are practically seamless. The first course (Kaiseki Zensai), is presented in beautiful Arita plateware, which literally took my breath away. I don't think I've ever had that much appreciation for plates and bowls. From sashimi to oysters, you get a taste of many dishes in one. Like an opening act in a musical, this one is a crowd pleaser and sets the palate for more to come.
The Aburi Sashimi Selection comes with 8 pieces and features four kinds of sashimi, flame seared with signature sauces. If you save the head of the shrimp, they will kindly offer to deep-fry it afterwards. A win in my books.
Then you get 2 oysters on the half shell, with wasabi chimichurri, yuzu cocktail sauce, and kabosu mignonette. The sauces really bring out the natural flavours in the oysters without overpowering them.
One of my favourites is the Miku Signature Bouillabaisse featuring fish, mussels, clams, jumbo prawns, squid, scallops, baby potatoes, fennel, and fresh herbs all in one hearty dish.
The AAA Sterling Silver Prime Rib is the most surprising dish of all, particularly because I didn't expect it to be a regular 7 oz. Usually for five course meals they compromise on the size of the meat. Except this time!
What's special about Miku's prime rib is the meat is slow roasted for 5 hours, and drizzled in wasabi brown butter sauce. Need I say more? This is roast beef at its finest that I'd never experienced before. I was an instant fan of their wild mushrooms which complement the roast beef so well.
The Miku Signature Sushi Selection is like a sample platter of Miku's signature rolls including specialty rolls, nigiri and aburi oshi sushi. Although the Salmon Oshi Sushi didn't live up to my expectations from my Vancouver experience, the others compensated very well.
The dessert trio, however, stole the show. Inspired by both Japanese and European cuisines, they're made in house by Miku's pastry team to create the perfect ending to a wonderful dinner.
The Green Tea Opera was the winner, a brilliant combination of green tea genoise, matcha butter cream, dark chocolate ganache, adzuki bean cream, hazelnut water, and matcha ice cream. It's as if you're biting into a cake as light as mousse, with a core as crunchy as Ferrero Rocher.
If I can say one thing about the dessert: it's beyond delectable. Going to Miku without trying their dessert is like going to Italy without trying gelato. It's a showstopper.
Lastly. the service was the icing on the cake. Our server AJ and the general manager were incredibly patient with us (my boyfriend had to swap the house-brewed sake for a beer after he ordered and it arrived at the table). Because of that, this restaurant deserves a whopping 4.5 stars.
The entire culinary experience was definitely worth the price. And when it comes to experiences that you share with those you love, there's no price tag you can put on them.