Posts with tag "sushi"

Minami Restaurant

Since its grand opening back in June, I’ve been to Minami Restaurant in Yaletown a few times now. It’s the sister restaurant of Miku in Coal Harbour and, much like its older sister, Minami is developing a fine reputation of being one of the better Japanese restaurants in the city. From the ingredients to the wait staff, owner of Minami, Mr. Seigo Nakamura’s philosophy of top notch quality carries throughout.

I’m going to cheat and make this a food photo post so you can have a taste of what this Japanese fine dining has to offer. By now, I must have tried half the items on this menu (and was busy eating to take pictures of all my food ;)

I always love the view of an open kitchen as it’s like watching a well rehearsed show and appreciating the artists at work

If you work or live in Yaletown, it’s a satisfying choice for lunch. You can sample the restaurant’s famed aburi sushi with the lunch aburi set…

Or chow down on the Minami Tuna Burger and Market Green Salad. The perk is you get a local discount off of your bill!

For dinner, step away from the usual appetizer and try their hamachi gyozas (warning… it’ll challenge your tastebuds as it is on the ‘fishy’ side – aside from the literal sense)

And if you can handle the heat, share the Spicy Kaisen Soba Pepperoncino

Of course, you gotta order a sushi or two…sorry to disappoint but you’re not going to find your typical California Roll on this menu

To pair with all this food, try one Minami’s original or classic cocktails from the list created by one Vancouver’s best bartenders, Shaun Layton

Minami is a much needed addition to the Yaletown scene. I warmly welcome you.

Minami Restaurant
1118 Mainland St
Minami on Urbanspoon

Ki Isu Japanese Restaurant

Ki Isu Japanese Restaurant is a small place on the edge of Yaletown.  The menu is moderately priced and the food is a mix of traditional, fusion, Western style and creative.

What I mean by creative is that the there are ‘house specials’ in which the chef tries to put his mark on sushi and Japanese food. At most places, the chef’s take on sushi ends up to be pieces of forced experiments of ‘local ingredients’ and then name it after a Vancouver street or area. I’ve been to the restaurant a couple of times and I can say the specialties are a notch above these. Also notably there are healthier West Coast style options like sushi made with brown rice.

We immediately order our usual must have: Ebi Mayo

The large deep fried prawns were crunchy and bouncy with each bite. I was glad that the it wasn’t overly battered and greasy but a tad heavy handed with the spicy mayo.

It was a hot day and we wanted something fresh which led us to the Mango and Salmon Steak Roll.

It’s a roll wrapped in thinly sliced mango and filled with cucumber and salmon then topped with a sprinkle of tobiko. The salmon was surprisingly still moist and the mango did help lighten the roll in general. I’m beginning to think they love their mayo as this sushi would have been fine with out the drizzle of the mayo sauce.

This one roll already started to carb us out but there was another roll that we needed to tackle.

Ki Isu’s version of the Rainbow Roll was topped with with thinly sliced salmon, ebi, and avocado with generous amounts of tobiko on top. I find these types of rolls as just one big cacophony of ingredients and you couldn’t make out what’s what. It’s definitely a massive sushi roll that can be a meal on its own.

If you want sushi within walking distance of Yaletown, this is the place to check out. I appreciate the mix of different types of sushi found at this little spot. If you do go, for sure check out the Seasonal Specials and their varied lunch options.

Ki-Isu Japanese Restaurant
1275 Pacific Blvd
Ki-Isu Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Ki Modern Japanese and Bar

Dining at Ki Modern Japanese and Bar restaurant on rare sunny day, oddly clouded my tastebuds that night. Well another way put it is that we were so enamoured with our setting that it seemed to enhance the flavour of the food.

Ki is a sophisticated chic Japanese restaurant located on the same block as the Shangri-La Hotel.  The restaurant started in Toronto and looks like it’s trying to grow its empire. For sure, it picked a prime well suited location in Vancouver. In the heart of financial district and coal harbour, the upstairs location gives you prime viewing spot of the surrounding well to-do buildings and shops. There is a restaurant and patio side or the lounge side and I highly recommend the patio.

The menu consists of items you might find at a izakaya: skewers, cooked dishes, sashimis, and sushi dishes. We started off with a simple assorted Seaweed Salad with sesame-ponzu dressing.

We were pleasantly surprise at the generous serving and variety of seaweed in the salad. It was fresh, crisp, tangy, and palette cleansing.

Of course we needed to try the fresh sushi on the menu

We picked the Ki Spidersoft which is shell crab, mango, perilla leaves, chives; Spicy Salmon Atlantic a roll of salmon, asparagus, endive, spicy raspberry sauce, ao noriko; and sushi pieces of Aji, Magura, Yellow Tail.  I like the spice and texture of the Spidersoft, the freshness and crush of the Spicy Salmon, and the quality of the pieces.

To continue the nibbling and sharing, we also picked out a couple of the skewers.  First came the surprisingly delicious Pancetta Wrapped Unagi

The Pancetta Wrapped Unagi is stuffed with grilled onion and pickled daikon, served with chilli ponzu sauce.  I loved how the different flavours came together: the saltiness from the pancetta with the sweetnees of the unagi and balanced out with the tang from the ponzu sauce.

Then the interesting marinated Swordfish

The marinated Swordfish was served with shishito peppers and a charred tomato ginger salsa.  I enjoyed the taste of something being grilled and charred but unfortunately I didn’t like how tough the swordfish came out.

Lastly, we ordered assorted seafood tempura.

There were pieces of prawn, halibut (I think), squid, and scallop.  These are all quality seafood but I thought it was a waste that such quality seafood was all battered and deep fried.  I think especially eating the tempura scallop turned me off and thought I rather have the scallop just simply grilled.  The tempura was nicely done with a light batter but I don’t think I’d order this type of tempura again.

We were giddy over the food the whole time.  But if we took the food out of the context of dining in an outdoor cabana under the sun, the dishes were good but not great.  Also another lesson learned is to not pick the cheapest bottle of sake from the menu…the sake we picked did not pair well with our food at all.

Overall the service was very attentive and the menu was decent but pricier than what you find at Guu or Zakkushi.  The winning point about this restaurant is the truly cool hidden gem of a patio.  A perfect spot to sneak to bask under our rare summer sun if you’re willing to spend the extra cash.

Ki Japanese Modern Bar
310 – 1121 Alberni Street
Ki Modern Japanese & Bar on Urbanspoon