Minami – Revisit

It’s difficult to believe that our last visit to Minami was well over a year ago. On our recent dinner visit, we didn’t realize that it was the same night as the “CandyTown” winter festival in Yaletown… the entire Mainland street was packed with revelers and costumed-gingerbread people.

Lighting during dinner time is rather dim so the pictures here don’t really do the dishes justice.

First up, the Kale Goma-ae ($6) with a sesame soy dressing. I know kale is supposed to be a superfood but I think I prefer the traditional spinach version. The Kaiso (Seaweed) Salad ($10) was a collection of frisée, sea asparagus, vine tomatoes, pickled carrots, and daikon, with an umami soy vinaigrette dressing. Truthfully, the best part of the salads for me was the crispy paper-thin lotus chips on top.

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I’ve had the Ebi Fritter before during my visit to sister restaurant Miku and was looking forward to trying them at Minami. Unfortunately, the Ebi Fritters ($15) at Minami didn’t live up to my expectations. Served with couscous, sweet chili aioli, baby frisée, and a soy balsamic reduction, I found that these tiger prawns were overcooked as the batter tasted a little burnt.

One of the better dishes during this meal was the Saikyo Miso Smoked Sablefish ($29) – everything was pretty awesome… from the tiger prawn cake, to the aburi miso petit eggplant to the buttery smooth sablefish. It’s also served with coconut creamed kale, wasabi-shoga relish, and wasabi matcha foam – although I really couldn’t taste anything from the foam.

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We were a bit hesitant to order the Espresso-Dijon Braised Short Rib ($29) because of the espresso in the menu description. Fortunately for us, the espresso really wasn’t strong and I didn’t even notice it. The short rib was super tender and practically fell off the bone. It’s served with smoked maple-bacon tomato chutney, rapini veggies, aburi campari tomato, and a smooth roasted chestnut purée along with the espresso-sweet soy peppercorn demi-glacé.

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On the other side of things, I found the Wagyu Beef Cha-Soba ($19) to be a bit odd. Comprised of wagyu beef bolognaise served with tempura oyster mushrooms, scallions, garlic dashi, on top of green tea soba, the bolognaise sauce didn’t seem to go well with the soba noodles.

Between the Salmon Oshi Sushi – pressed BC wild salmon, with jalepeño slice, and Miku  sauce and the Ebi Oshi Sushi – pressed shrimp, lime zest, and ume (plum) sauce, ($16 each) I thought the salmon was much better. Still, the oshi (pressed) sushi here is better than at some other restaurants. I’m not sure if it’s the aburi (flame-grilling) process or if it’s the sauce that makes the difference… maybe it’s both.

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The Crunchy Hokkaido (Scallop) Roll ($17) wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. The scallop itself was quite good and was wrapped in hamachi with a yuzu-kosha soy reduction, along with aonori (seaweed) tempura bits. The finely shaped tempura bits were crispy but didn’t provide the big “crunch” that I was expecting it to.

For dessert, we stuck with a selection of ice cream and sorbets including the Black Sesame, Sakekasu-Cranberry, Pear-Ginger, and Mandarin-Yuzu. My fav was the Mandarin-Yuzu although the rest were all quite good too.

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As for service, our water glasses were refilled constantly throughout our meal. Prices tend to be on the higher side here and some items (such as the sablefish, the shortrib, and the salmon oshi sushi) are quite good.

1118 Mainland Street
Vancouver, BC

minamirestaurant.com

Minami Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Posted on February 15, 2015, in Desserts, Japanese, Restaurant Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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