Drive your ambition, an intimate dinner hosted by Mitsubishi at Miku.
On this night I was invited down to “Miku” for dinner. This was “Mitsubishi’s” first event in Vancouver, and they certainly did as intended: to hit things off with a bang. They invited media and influencers like myself to get to know their brand a little more intimately.
We gathered in one of “Miku’s” private rooms that gave us a spectacular view of Canada Place and its colourfully lit sails. The privacy of the room, and its ability to keep the noise of the rest of the rambunctious restaurant chatter out, was ideal in allowing us to absorb the information below.
“Mitsubishi” was founded over 140 years ago, having celebrating their 100 years trademark celebration last year. And during the last century they have dabbled in banking, salmon farming, airline production, and even beer. “Kirin” is a Mitsubishi company, which also happened to be what we were drinking this evening.
You may not known all of the above, or have heard much about “Mitsubishi” in general, given that they are much smaller in Canada. However, as part of the “Renault-Nissian-Mitsubishi Alliance”, they are one of the fastest growing vehicle manufacturers in the world; and one of the global leaders of electric vehicles. In the next 10 years they are looking to add 40 new vehicles to their combined fleets. Starting with the two below, that are featured at thus year’s Vancouver International Auto Show.
First is the “Outlander PHEV”, the world’s best selling plug-in hybrid SUV. It is the only plug-in hybrid SUV with 4WD in 100% electric mode. They call this a “game-changer” because there is no other affordable SUV on the market, until the “Outlander PHEV”.
Next was the all new 2018 “Eclipse Cross”, which they deem an “accumulation of Mitsubishi Motors’ successes in SUV, technology, and super all-wheel control”. I would later see both in person at the Vancouver Auto Show, so have included those photos here.
When it comes to a dinner where I was invited as media, plating and portion size may be gussied up and/or paired down, and the service will usually be top notch. Though I can at least paint you the most accurate image when it comes to the food and the setting, as how I interpret it. But as always, these are my opinions and you need not take them as fact. Unless you have my exact background, have lived my exact experiences, and we possess the same tongue; no one can truly taste and appreciate as you do.
Now on to the 10 course meal below: Almost each course came with a sake pairing, but we were also treated to a few of “Miku’s” signature cocktails.
“Nightshade” was a creamy purple drink made from dragon fruit liquor, yuzu, vanilla extract, house blend of bitters, and egg white. It tasted more like its name than its candy coloured hue. It was herbaceous like liquorice, with a hint of grapefruit and mint.
The “Miyazaki #2” is a fruity cocktail made witj Havana Club seven year rum, ginger liqueur, mango purée, and a basil citrus foam. It lasted like mango purée in a cocktail format. More sweet dessert than alcoholic beverage.
The “Koyo” cocktail tasted like a tea based sangria made with Kunizakari tea umeshu, sparkling wine, sparkling water, and cherry cedar bitters. It was light and refreshing like a spritzer flavoured with apricot.
Our first course was an “Aburi sashimi selection”. A trio of sashimi, flame seared and dressed with their signature sauces. Perfectly crafted so that there is no need for an extra side of soya sauce. Unfortunately I did not catch the entire run down of the dish, so won’t be able to list it below or use it to give you much context on what it was, that I was enjoying so contently. But they were perfect. Each morsel harmoniously satisfying. Light, yet full of flavour. Simple yet complex. Each, a very satisfying cut of fish with a little bit of freshness from greens and veggies, and some tang from the dressings.
Next was the “Kaiseki Zensai”, a selection of seven seasonal items, served in their unique arita-yaki plate. The “plate” was actually a box with lid, stacked with several compartments. It was hand painted and flown in from a specific region of Japan, to be used exclusively by “Miku”. The containers themselves cost the restaurant $4k for 30 units.
It was suggested that we start with the oysters from chef’s creek first. Fresh oysters with wasabi chimichurri and/or a citrus mango salsa. Next, we were directed to move on to the mussels fully cooked in white wine and a kaffir lime mignonette. And finally the one prawn cocktail with a ginger cocktail sauce. The assembly was some of the freshest I have had. The added ingredients and sauces didn’t take away from the natural flavour of the seafood being highlighted.
The next layer too went from lightest to heaviest in flavour. The “Octopus ceviche” included shiso, edamame, tomato, and an yuzu olive dressing. The pieces of octopus were plentiful, you got a bit of its tell-a-tale chew in every spoon.
The “Wagyu beef carpaccio” was authentically from Japan. It was dressed minimally to best showcase its 5A grading. Prepared with micro greens and wasabi masatake to add some pepperiness to it. The meat was not as fatty as I thought, or would have imagined.
The “Stable fish” was buttery and flakey. It was flown in from Alaska, and marinated in miso for 24 hours, with the goal to have it melt in your mouth. And in that they succeeded. This and everything else was just the right curated amount to leave you wanting just that little bit more.
The “Pan seared hokkaido scallop” was paired with shichimi chicharron, and miso pineapple bacon chutney. With its pop-y flavours this was my favourite item of the box. The scallop was perfectly prepared with a great sear that candied the edges.
Our main was the most decadent surf and turf I have ever had. It brought together a lobster tail with more wagyu beef. The aburi lobster tail was lightly torched and seasoned with a cayenne tomato aioli. Still a slightly bit raw, the lobster meat was so smooth and so tasty with creamy cheese sauce. It truly melted in your mouth. Not unlike the pinky Japanese wagyu beef with seasonal vegetables and cilantro gremolata. The tender meat paired nicely with the firm vegetables. Once again, despite how small the portion may have looked, everything offered up was of the perfect quantity. The serving was enough to give you a full taste, yet keep you wanting more.
And a visit to “Miku” wouldn’t be the same without some sushi. “Miku’s signature sushi selection” included the Chef’s selection of Aburi oshi, roll, and nigiri. “Miku” is best known as the restaurant that popularized aburi in Canada. Like the sashimi above, I was unable to get a better description of what was what. But like our first course, this dish used some of the freshest fish and beef I have ever had atop of rice. Once again each pieces was intentionally crafted so that you needn’t dip it into any soy sauce for additional flavouring.
The chef’s selection of dessert was a green tea cake. It had a wonderful sharp flavouring, not too sweet but well balanced, as a great taste to end the night on.
As for the sake pairings we were treated to the following:
The “Dassai 50 Junmai Daiginjo” was incredibly smooth, the perfect sake for those who don’t like to drink, it went down like flavoured water.
The “Yauemon shuawa junmai daiginjo” is a sparkling nigori. It is carbonated, so it is suggested that you tip it, but not shake it, before the bottle is opened. This is to mix the rice to the top of the bottle.
Dessert was paired with the “Gold omachi junmai daiginjo”, the sake with the golden label, which falls under the super premium category of sake. It must always be served cold, as it is best to enjoy this sake as you do white wine. It was sweet and strong.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I would love to be able to frequent “Miku”, however they definitely fall under the category of luxury eating, and special occasion dining. So to be given the opportunity to indulge like this is a treat. The night couldn’t have been better. Great food and great company in a one of a kind setting, paired with a view like no other; who could ask for more? Don’t deny your cravings.
200 Granville Street, Vancouver BC, V6C 1S4