What a lovely experience. I don’t know why, but when we made the reservation here for lunch on our early-December anniversary mid-week in the city, I expected one of the subgenres of Chinese food, high-class variety. It was a bit disorienting to walk in and have the chefs all lined up behind the bar shouting a traditional Japanese greeting. I soon got reoriented.
It’s a bit of a chilly interior design of a room, high ceilings, hard white surface tables, with a large-windowed view of the harbour and the five sails of the cruise terminal and Pan Pacific. The hostess was colloquial and charming, and we had a nice table at one of the windows. Server was a young clearly local Japanese-Canadian guy who was brisk and cheery, knowledgeable and helpful about the menu. We kept our lunch light, looking forward to a big celebratory dinner at Elisa later on.
Server brought the requested bottle of Austrian gruner veltliner, we remembering the grape from cycling up the river from Vienna. It turned out to be light on the nose and kind of nondescript in the mouth although it improved a bit. We should’ve stayed with our original instinct which was to order an Alsace-style white to go with the Asian fish we were obviously going to enjoy.
We ordered shared dishes as we went, starting with their ebi fritters, exquisitely deep-fried tender prawns with a thin crisp batter exterior, sparingly coated with ebi aioli. Our basis for comparison was our favourite dish at the Horseshoe Bay bistro Olive and Anchor. Miku’s were superior which in no way diminishes the pleasure of O & A ebi mayo.
A very nice nigiri and hosomaki selection plate was next, featuring mackerel and other white-fish bites along with fancy roll slices varied in content and consistency. Everything succulent, perfectly prepared and served, and packed with flavour. 2 cups of perfect miso soup washed it all down.
Not much to eat, but we really only sampled the surface of the deep and varied Japanese menu. Around $150 bearing in mind the wine was $95. There was something about the overall experience that was light in food texture as expected, but also eventually in the care and a very informal kindness of service and a spirit of high-class fun. We will definitely go back, maybe for dinner.
Food 9.2, service 9.3, ambience (overall in spite of the chilly interior design) 9.4, value 8.9, peace and quiet 8.8.