gracecheung604 | write on time: October 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Revisit: Sushiholic

Earlier this week, I revisited Sushiholic (my previous review here)  because I was craving Japanese food, and I was a little tired of getting take-out from Kita. Although they don't take reservations for groups of less than four, we were seated fairly quickly. If you don't want to take a chance and don't feel like waiting, get take-out...they do lots of business that way too.
I always start with a Tako Sunomono, and they do a great job here. There is plenty of tako and the shredded carrots marry well with the vermicelli. The tangy dressing is refreshing and a great palate cleanser. 
Sushiholic Their Salmon Sashimi is also a decent size, and the fish were cut perfectly. It's not too thick and is served nice and cold, just the way it should be. 
Sushiholic Since it was a rather cool night, we opted for a Tempura Udon to warm our bellies. This was excellent, the noodles had a nice bite to it, and was served piping hot. I added some of the 7-spice powder or shichimi togarashi for a bit of extra heat. The broth was flavourful and not oily or full of MSG. I would have like a bit more veggies but that's probably a personal preference and not really a complaint. 
Sushiholic The Tempura was lightly battered and deep fried to a golden crisp. The veggies were tasty, and super crunchy. There could have been another prawn, but what was served was delicious. 
SushiholicFor more sushi, I had to have my Ikura. This was plentiful and I loved how it overflowed out of the nigiri. The Uni was fresh as well and creamy too. The Unagi is always a favourite, a bit sweet with a hint of umami from the sauce. 
Sushiholic And to round out dinner, we got their Prawn Gyoza, and this never disappoints. The skin has a nice crunch, and I really do love the whole prawn, complete with tails. 
I would say that the Sunomono is a must do, as well as the Prawn Gyoza. They have a huge selection of rolls too, but I always find that the more fanciful the rolls are, the further it moves away from "tradition". I can eat a dynamite roll but something like their Awesome Roll sort of freaks me out! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Taste of Yaletown 2015 - Complete Breakdown of all Three Menus at Minami

I had the chance to try out the Taste of Yaletown a few weeks ago (it's on until October 29!) at Minami , which has three menus, one for lunch and two for dinner. 

The Minami Zen Platter, available at lunch, is only $25 and gives you a taste of their legendary dishes as well as some new tastes too. Starting off with the Signature Sushi, you get a nice assortment of Aburi nigiri, a roll as well as the oishi sushi all featuring their renown aburi-style of searing the fish. 

The platter also includes Aburi Bincho, accompanied by a creamy gomae sauce with a touch of heat from the wasabi-masatake. 

There is a light salad, the Minami Chopped Salad, with some baby greens, miso tofu, crisps and some chopped chicken. The umami-soy vinaigrette is a light dressing that complements the salad quite nicely. The Ebi Fritter is light and crispy, with a bit of chili aioli and balanced with a soy-balsamic reduction. 

Rounding out the plate is a bit of spiced couscous. And the other item on the platter is the Kurobuta & Kobe Meatball, bathed in miso-chicken jus with a few fingerling potatoes. And for dessert, you have a choice of ice cream for sorbet. All in all, this is a great deal for $25.

TOY2015-Minami TOY2015-Minami Their dinner offering is $45, although they do have a $35 option for vegetarians, which I will review next. The appetizer is the Minami Appetizer Trio, with a serving of the Aburi Sushi Sampler, a light Citrus Salad as well as a Brome Lake Duck Confit Drumette. The Aburi sushi is just tasty as you would expect, and the citrus salad is fresh and light. I loved the Aburi grapes! The Duck Drumette is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, perfectly executed. 

TOY2015-Minami For the main course, they have a unique Surf and Turf. For the Surf, you get their Sakekasu-Saikyo Miso Baked Sablefish, which is melt in your mouth tender. The fish flakes off easily and it has a rich and sweet flavour. I could eat this everyday! Partnered with the sablefish is a serving of marinated Japanese eggplant, I had never had this before but it sure was tasty. 

For the Turf, you are treated to Fraser Valley Pork done two ways. The first part of the duo is a Braised Pork Cheek, which is super tender. The second part is a complete textural change, with a Crispy Kakuni Pork Belly. The skin is crunchy, not just crispy. There is a bit of salsa on top, with a miso Asahi glaze. Both items rest on a bed of rapini and the greens definitely benefit from the juices of both the sablefish and the pork. It's one of the best Surf and Turf plate I've had. 

Dessert Miami toy2015 To top this meal off, there is a Mixed Berry Sakekasu Bar. It's a miso pecan-walnut crumble, paired a vanilla-sakekasu & rhubarb-ume ice cream, and with a salted caramel sauce drizzled on top. It is as tasty as it is beautiful. There is a lot of Sakekasu in this menu, and I didn't really know what it was. It turns out it is the lees which are leftover after all the liquid is removed from the fermented rice used to make sake, and is a key component of the umami taste.

TOY2015-Minami The $35 Vegetarian Menu starts off with a Minami Garden Trio. There is the Minami Garden Plate with fresh veggies and a delicate quinoa and avocado roll wrapped in soy paper, and some spinach shira-ae, a crumbled tofu. There is also a Kaiso (seaweed) Salad, which is paired with some frisée and a soy vinaigrette. I loved the little lotus chips on top. And to finish off the trio is the Miso-Tofu Sansai Gyoza, pan-fried to perfection. 

TOY2015-Minami The entree is a serving of Crispy Tempeh, surrounded by a whole gamut of vegetables, such as a roasted mushroom medley, fingerling potatoes, cipollini onions, haricot verts. The dressing is made with maple-sherry vinegar and soy-balsamic reduction, topped with some Aburi corn and bell pepper salsa. The dessert is the same as the $45 menu above.

So whether you want to stop by just for lunch or a night out, I'd say any of the three menus are worth a try. I've already booked my table for the 24th; dinner before the Canucks versus Red Wings game! Note that not all menu items listed above are available throughout the year, some are just here for Taste of Yaletown 2015. 

Note: I was hosted for this tasting by the nice folks at Taste of Yaletown.

Minami Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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