A spontaneous night took J and I to Minami, the sister restaurant of Miku. Miku is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants when I’m looking for creativity and aburi sushi, so I had always wanted to try Minami. The restaurant was packed and although we had no reservations, we got a spot at the bar. The environment is definitely much more casual and loud compared to Miku.
Sitting at the bar was actually quite nice as the bartender pretty much serves you the whole night. We had some great prompt service and she was able to answer all our questions. The only downside is you may not have as much privacy since she’s always standing there making drinks.
You get two types of soya sauces at Minami. She said that one is the regular soya sauce, while the other is a little sweeter. I liked the sweeter one.
Premium Nigiri – chef’s selection traditional nigiri
J loves traditional Nigiris, so he got the Premium Nigiri set. It came with seven nigiris that the chef had chosen.
I believe there was tuna, salmon, saba, unagi, and scallop to list a few. He said they were all very fresh and the amount of fish to rice portion was perfect.
Aburi Sushi Sampler – aburi temari, oshi and roll topped with specialty sauces and garnishes
For myself, I got the Aburi Sushi Sampler. It came with 7 dainty little sushi. They were so cute! Some were in the form of temari, which are ball-shaped sushi. Others were oshi (square shaped), while some were regular rolls. They were beautiful to look at! I almost didn’t want to eat them.
Some of the fish I remember included, saba, scallop, salmon and tuna. They were all quite delicious, and the fish was very fresh. However, you don’t get too filled up by these, since they are really half the size of a normal nigiri.
Ebi Oshi Sushi – pressed shrimp, lime zest, ume sauce
We also shared an Ebi Oshi Sushi. We wanted to try one of the oshi sushi, since Miku and Minami are famous for them. The bartender recommended the Ebi Oshi and it was absolutely delicious. The shrimp was slightly seared and it melted in your mouth. I loved the hint of smoky flavour. Definitely recommend trying this!
Green Tea Opera – green tea genoise, dark chocolate ganache, matcha ice cream
Obviously we were still a little hungry by the end of the night. We shared a dessert, and I chose the Green Tea Opera. I’ve had this back at Miku, but I found the one at Minami presented slightly different. Again, it was delicious since I’m a huge matcha fan. It was made of a green tea genoise, which is an Italian sponge cake which is really thin. It had layers of dark chocolate ganache, which made the dessert very smooth in the mouth. It was then topped with fruits and caramelized sugar. On the side, there was a scoop of matcha ice cream topped with a sesame crisp. Definitely ended up our meal very nicely.
Overall, Minami wasn’t too bad. However, I find that the prices are only a few dollars cheaper than Miku. With that being said, I would rather pay a few extra dollars and dine at Miku, since the environment and dishes are much better in my opinion. I find the atmosphere too loud at Minami, and it’s more casual. I also found that the food at Miku was executed more carefully. Not a bad option if I’m in the Yaletown area though.