From a first glance, sushi appears deceptively simple. However, simplicity doesn’t equate easy. Little do people realize that it takes longer to become a trained sushi chef than it takes to become a doctor in Japan! When working with minimal ingredients, there is nothing to hide. This increases the complexity of technique as even the most minute mistake will be magnified. This is why sushi trainees do repetitive tasks (i.e. wash rice, sweep floors) for many years before graduating to making sushi rice, then scaling and fileting fish, and finally making sushi for customers. The purpose is to gauge their patience and meticulousness. Only the cream of the crop will be selected to apprentice under the master chef. Chef Rei Masada has trained under the legendary sushi master Sukiyabashi Jiro for nine years before embarking on his own restaurant. Albeit young, he already has two Michelin stars under his belt.
Miku is one of the trendiest hotspots for Japanese cuisine in Toronto. The Toronto branch opened following the successful venture of its original Vancouver location. Serving contemporary Japanese Canadian fusion cuisine, Miku definitely ranks among one of the best restaurants in Toronto. The kaiseki is the best way to explore the menu, as you will get a taste of most signature/popular dishes. We chose the five course Miku kaiseki.
The first course was a sashimi platter, plated with finesse. The chu-toro (medium fat bluefin tuna) was very good, meltingly tender. The hamachi (yellowtail) and amaebi (spot prawn) were also very enjoyable. Later during the meal, the prawn heads were brought back to the kitchen and fried. I know visually this can intimidate people but it’s actually not bad to munch on.
There is a proper method of eating sushi and it’s probably one of the more underrated dining etiquette that people are aware of. If you eat at cheaper sushi joints this might not be a big issue but this is especially problematic if you go to a higher end sushi bar. The accumulation of mistakes will reflect badly on you and it’s definitely a no no if you call yourself a foodie. If you do it properly then the sushi chef will hold higher regards for you as it’s a form of mutual dining respect. Here are my tips so you can look like (and eat like) a sushi pro!