Minami Japanese Restaurant

Minami Japanese fine dining restaurant opened their doors this Spring and it has become my go to restaurant this Summer.

Minami Japanese Restaurant, located in Yaletown and sister restaurant to Miku, a fine dining Japanese restaurant in the heart of Coal Harbour meets high expectations. I’ve been to both, the menu is very similar but, the atmosphere and décor is much nicer at Minami.
The service was impeccable right from when we entered to when we left.
It is a rare treat, when all the dishes scored between 4 -5 out of 5!

Now the Food…

We started with the Shiso Mojito Watermelon and Citrus Cured Scallops, mojito infused watermelon, montchevre goat cheese, micro greens, pickled celery, cucumber, a light salad to prepare our paletes. Creative ingredients that melded so well and gave a refreshing blend of flavours. 4.5/5

watermelon and scallops
We were recommended to try the calamari, everyone that went to Minami raved about this dish.

Calamari, nori tempura batter, brussels sprout chips, pickled tomatoes, tosazu sauce. The batter was heavenly, so light, not the usual American calamari. This is one of their popular dishes. 4/5

calamari

Miso Baked Duck Breast, ginger braised carrots, watercress, sweet potato fondant, orange reduction. This dish is slightly different from the one offered at Miku. I much prefer the duck breast at Minami. Again, this dish was able to hit my entire palette, sour, sweet, spicy, salty. 4.5/5
Duck Breast
Minami and Miku are known for their Aburi Sushi, a roll that is pressed and then lightly seared and, topped with the secret Miku sauce. We tried dissecting the sauce, the two ingredients we all agreed on were sesame and soy sauce but, that is a given, it’s the base of almost all Japanese, Chinese sauces.

Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi, pressed local salmon, jalapeño, miku sauce, my favourite dish. It was sooo good. 5/5
aburi salmon sushi

Aburi Saba Oshi Sushi, pressed mackerel, miku miso sauce. Once again they hit this out of the ball park, a terrific dish. 4.5/5.
aburi saba sushi

I keeping my fingers crossed, Minami will stay open longer than the other predecessors at this location, Goldfish being one of that recently closed. Their dishes were made with creativity and detail. The ingredients were fresh and, I will be recommending this place to my picky foodies.

Minami on Urbanspoon

Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour – Happy Hour Under $5

Hapa Izakaya version 4.0. By now Vancouverites should be very familiar with Japanese tapas. Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour formerly known as Hapa Umi, is popular amongst the after work crowd just happy to relax with cheap food and drinks.

hapa umi

Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour used to be a upscale hapa but, I guess Vancouverites got so used to Hapa’s original menu and prices that it just did not fly. Now they have a menu very similar to all the other Hapa’s

Happy Hour Details:

3- 6 PM

Monday to Friday

Everything on the Happy Hour menu including the house wine and beer is under $5. I know UNDER $5!!!

Now the food…

Starting with my favourite dish the Ika, grilled squid, sake soy garlic marinade. The smoky flavour really came through. It was cooked perfectly, the texture was still crunchy.
Ike

Ebi Mayo, was overcooked and the batter was too thick.
shrimp Tempura

Chicken Karaage, it was juicy and tender on the inside but the outside was not as crispy as I would have liked

Chicken karage

Beef tataki, lacked flavor, I’m not a big fan of any dish squirted with a thick blob of chilli sauce.
Beef tataki

Rennkon Gyoza, minced pork layered with lotus root and tempura. This was surprisingly nice, the lotus root added a crunchy texture.
Deep fried gyoza

Overall, it stood a little above pub food but, the atmosphere and service was so fun. The servers were hot. We sat in a booth so I was eye level with the server’s busty boobs. I couldn’t help staring at them, they were everywhere.  It may be raunchy but, take it as it is, Hapa Izakaya doesn’t claim to be a Michelin star restaurant, it’s more along the lines of Cactus Club. If you are complaining about girls and guys flaunting their bodies (I might add, it wasn’t distasteful) go somewhere else.

Hapa Umi on Urbanspoon

Ki Modern Japanese & Bar

**updated: closed** July 25, 2013
Upscale and modern Japanese Tapas Bar at the Shangri-la. The space is very spacious and modern, reminds me of Tao in New York. Definitely would not mind lounging here for a couple of hours. On a Wednesday night this place was pretty empty.

Now the food…

Keep in mind it is a tapas bar so the dishes are fairly smaller and meant to be shared. Dishes range from $12 – 23 per dish.

Toro Tower, it was nicely seared but, maybe we were just too used to toro sushimi. I don’t think I have ever eaten any toro that was as fatty as this. My friend’s piece was 80% fat. 3/5

Toro tower

Kiwi Tuna Rolls, you could barely taste the mango sauce but, it was decent. Nothing out of the ordinary. As one of the more creative rolls being offered this was barely mundane.  3/5

kiwi tuna roll
kiwi tuna roll

Sake Porkbelly with Ponzu Chilli Sauce. Porkbelly is THE ingredient of the season. To be fair we had high expectations.  This was a major let down. The meat was ridiculously overcooked to the point that my jaws began to ache.

The meat was stringy. Out of the 6 pieces of porkbelly only one was not overcooked. Aside from the doneness the flavour of the dish was good, so I’m throwing in an extra 1/2 point 1.5/5

sake porkbelly with ponzu chilli sauce
sake porkbelly with ponzu chilli sauce

Rock shrimp with wasabi mayo, we agreed this is far better than the regular shrimp tempura. We debated for a while whether it is better than KFC popcorn chicken – now that is good! 3.5/5

Rock shrimp with wasabi mayo
Rock shrimp with wasabi mayo

Black Cod, the fish had a chewy texture. The sauce on the other had been what saved it. The mango sauce, I could drink that 3.5/5

black cod


Creme brûlée lemongrass and chamomile infused and sugar cookies, well I liked the sugar cookie. Yet AGAIN! Another dish that was overdone. The texture was lumpy, which meant the eggs and the cream began to cook. 2/5
creme brûlée lemongrass and chamomile
There is one plus the service was impeccable. My friend went out to feed the parking meter. He was attentive, informative and always kept our table cleaned and refolded napkins when needed.
We were so disappointed with our meal we went across the street to a bustling Coast Restaurant and drowned our sorrows away with some fine wine and oysters.
Ki Modern Japanese & Bar on Urbanspoon

Japa-rean Waffles – Miura Waffle and Milk Bar

Japa –rean (Japa-Korean) Inspired Waffles Sandwiches

Miura Waffle Menu

Just off the party streets of Granville nestles a quaint waffle café. Owned and operated by a couple, who provided exceptional service from right when we entered. Chef hard at work creating our orders Bulgogi Waffle Sando, a Korean marinated beef mixed with eggs and mayonnaise finished with kimchi in between two fluffy slices of waffle -$6 and the Fruits & Cream Waffle Sando, apples with pastry crème -$4.

Miura Busy At Work

As a self-proclaimed food explorer even I had my reservations about my Bulgogi Waffle. I was expecting a Korean fusion breakfast flop, comparable to the inedible crap Tim Horton’s call a sausage and egg biscuit. With my first timid bite into the waffle, I was pleasantly persuaded. The flavor combination of the subtle kimchi, mayo and seasoned beef hit the spot. For those who cannot take spice the kimchi was very subtle, it was more of sourness of the pickling that came through not the spiciness.

Bulgogi Waffle Sando
Fruits & Cream Waffle Sando really depends on the fruit of the season. During the summer it was berry and for the fall, apples. Pas cream was neither too heavy nor sweet. Although I have a sweet tooth the star of my palate was the Bulgogi, it is definitely one of their more creative dish, other than their Wasabi Salmon Waffle, a Salmon Wasabi Ranch combination.

Fruits & Cream Waffle Sando

When you have a craving for waffles I also recommend Patisserie Lebeau in Kitsilano, a Belgium style waffle café. Absolutely divine and knocks out Chambar, a Belgium restaurant famous for their signature dessert waffle.

829 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC
604-687-2909

Food Persuasion Level : [rating=4]
Value: [rating=4]
Service : [rating=5]
Ambiance: [rating=3]
Price: $
Cuisine: Waffle Cafe
Location: Downtown Vancouver
Miura Waffle Restaurant Menu

Miura Waffle Milk Bar on Urbanspoon