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.
The second course was a three tier series of appetizers. The duo of oysters were both East Coast varieties; French Kiss and Pink Moon dressed with mignonette. I’m normally not the biggest oyster fan unless they’re extraordinarily fresh. Both the French Kiss and Pink Moon were mellow and delicate, not the intense salty and metallic ones. The tangy red wine vinegar mignonette complemented the oyster’s natural liquor. While the carrot puree further accentuated the sweetness of the scallop, the licorice was a strange addition as its sharp flavour simply didn’t blend in. My bf really enjoyed the spicy albacore tuna tartare. The sesame cracker provided some vital texture contrast.
For the main course, a slow roasted AAA prime rib was served. Although it’s no Kobe or wagyu, the steak was very tender. In addition to the jus, the wasabi brown butter sauce really packed a kick! The mushrooms (button, shitake, and oyster) were sauteed in garlic butter and were delectably juicy.
Next was a selection of different types of sushi. This included Miku’s signature aburi oshi sushi. The sushi is pressed, and the toppings are gently blowtorched. Blowtorching is more than just a gimmicky trend. It quickly caramelizes the outside of protein, creating flavour yet maintaining a rare texture. This also releases the natural oils in the fish and seeps into the rice. My personal favourite is the sockeye salmon aburi oshi sushi, paired with a sweet soy glaze. The albacore tuna and hamachi nigiri were also well made, with the right proportion of neta (topping) to sushi rice.
The good thing about Miku is that they’re very flexible on substitutions. A quick negotiation later, we were presented with a trio of sorbets instead of the green tea red bean opera cake/matcha ice cream option. The yuzu sorbet was especially remarkable. I find the flavour of yuzu very unique, thus quite hard to describe if you’ve never tried it before. The closest resemblance is a cross between mandarin and lemon, with a pinch of bergamot. Subtly sweet, yet tart with an intoxicating zesty aroma. The strawberry sorbet was fruity, while the pear ginger sorbet tasted borderline medicinal. This was the perfect ending to the kaiseki.
I can say for my second time around at Miku not only the food is excellent but the quality is consistent. What I enjoy is that even though the cuisine is clearly fused with Western influences, the food is still heavily rooted in Japanese tradition. If you happen to be in an adventurous mood, Miku will certainly blow you away!