Introducing: B.C.-based Miku brings its aburi-style sushi to Harbourfront
Contact: 10 Bay St., #105 (RBC WaterPark Place), 647-347-7347, mikutoronto.com, @MikuToronto
Owner: Seigo Nakamura
Chefs: Kazuya Matsuoka (corporate executive chef), Michael Acero (chef de cuisine), Kazuki Uchigoshi (head sushi chef) and Aiko Uchigoshi (head pastry chef) are all veterans of Vancouver’s Miku, Minami and Gyoza Bar
The food: The restaurant’s specialty is aburi (flame-seared) sushi, a century-old technique that the Nakamura introduced to Vancouver in 2008. At Miku, charcoal-grilled fish is paired with signature sauces and served as sashimi, nigiri or oshi (pressed) sushi. In addition to using sustainable seafood and, when possible, Ontario ingredients, a few dishes—soy-grilled octopus, togarashi-spiced lobster, miso-balsamic pork belly with seared sweetbreads—are only available at this location. Three kaiseki menu options are available, starting at $75 (the most elaborate one costs $130 and requires 72 hours’ notice).
Aburi beef carpaccio: AAA short rib, organic shoyu egg, baby greens, Asian pear, edible flowers, wasabi aïoli and jalapeño ponzu. $19.
Kyoto saikyo miso-baked sablefish: prawn croquette, gai lan, charred eggplant purée, welsh onion, pickled turnip, yuzu-miso reduction and tomato relish. $35.
Aburi prime: chef’s omakase nigiri selection paired with selected sauces and garnishes. $55 for 10 pieces.
Miku signature sushi selection: traditional specialty rolls and aburi nigiri. $36 for 10 pieces.
Coal Harbour platter: fresh oysters, an oyster shooter, PEI mussels, clams, jumbo prawns, kaisen poke, scallop ceviche and kale goma-ae. $32.
Green tea opera cake: green tea génoise, matcha butter cream, dark chocolate ganache, adzuki bean cream, hazelnut wafer and matcha ice cream. $13.50.
The drinks: Alongside wine, beer and cocktails, there’s an extensive sake list selected by sommelier Miki Ellis. The Aburi Ginjo, a draught sake, is made exclusively for the restaurant by Japan’s Yoshinogawa brewery.
Miyazaki #2: Havana Club 7 year rum, ginger liqueur, mango purée, basil and citrus foam. $16.
The space: Like its west-coast sibling, Miku is located close to the waterfront. In addition to the 180-seat dining room, the 7,000-square-foot restaurant also has two private dining rooms. In warmer months, there’ll be an 80-seat, Queens Quay–adjacent patio.
The Japanese designer Ibe Takahiro is responsible for all of the Miku restaurants, including the new Toronto location.
Bar seating is available in front of the open kitchen. Check out those booze-filled fridges.
A larger bar area (with its own snack menu) caters to the after-work crowd, and features a fresh raw bar. The Japanese artist Hideki Kimura painted the mural on the back wall.