Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mr. Miyagi

Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest of the restaurant





I was ready to meet Mr. Miyagi, and get some ‘wax on, wax off’ technique going…except for the fact that Mr. Miyagi (at least in Windsor) isn’t a person, but a funky and energetic dining spot, for Japanese food (with quite a twist might I say) and liquor. 

On a Tuesday night, with the soft glow of pink neon in the background, the beats were already pumping (but not tool loudly fortunately), people were laughing and delicious aromas were wafting out of the kitchen. 

The atmosphere was casual and fun, definitely a place to bring a group of friends, or maybe a hot date (perhaps for date 3 or 4 if you’re still new…).

I simply adore Mr. Miyagi’s branding, plenty of hot pink (not a wallflower for sure) with funny little quotes and lots of advice from Mr M himself, from your menus to the bathrooms (wear black so that soy sauce doesn’t stain). 

Speaking of the menu, although Mr. Miyagi says they serve Japanese food…although there is some sashimi on the menu, it’s otherwise not quite what you’d expect, certainly not traditional, with lots of fusion twists and unique combinations. 

We started our evening with the Wafu salad with aonori rolled tuna, that makes for a deliciously light way to get the palate and appetite going. Served cool, the sesame crust around the tuna adds a lovely nuttiness, and I enjoyed the slight crunch to the vegetables as well. 

Can I just say, in terms of fusion, Mr Miyagi’s nori taco is one of the best fusions I’ve come across. It’s like top level Super Saiyan stuff (for all you nerds out there), with grilled salmon belly, sushi rice, spicy napa cabbage, Japanese mayo and chilli oil. Oh my gosh. The nori shell is incredibly crunchy, the serve of salmon immensely generous, almost bulging out in all it’s pink goodness with each bite. I absolutely loved the texture of the salmon, and the meatiness of the pieces they put in. The rice full of vinegary flavour, kewpie mayo for days and a nice bit of heat to balance it all out. One was definitely not enough. Easily one of my favourite dishes of the night. 

Our Japanese eggplant rice paper rolls with grilled eggplant, miso glaze, cucumber and peppery leaves were much more flavoursome than I expected. The eggplant an usual, but very tasty addition. This was also quite light and refreshing, even with the rich umami-packing miso glaze (which I want on everything). 

White cut chicken with buckwheat noodles, roasted peanut chilli shiitake, bean shoots and silken tofu is another cool and refreshing dish, with the slippery noodles going down a treat. 

But I was absolutely all about the tempura broccoli with kimchi seasoning and some delicious cheesy goodness sprinkled on top. Oh my gosh. I ate like 5 of these which was a terrible (but delicious) idea because these are so filling! The broccoli is beautifully soft, but encased in just a lovely light batter. The kimchi seasoning provides a lovely kick. This, along with the nori taco, would be one of the first things to order on my list whenever I’m back next. 

The tuna tataki pizza is also not to be missed, with rare seared tuna on a spiced flat bread, yuzu caesar cream, heirloom tomatoes and shaved jalapeños. This, like the taco, is another successful venture into complete fusion, I appreciated how crunchy the spiced flat bread was, and again how generous the cuts of tuna on top were, so that you got a meaty mouthful. Although such strong chilli flavours aren’t usually so present in Japanese food, I was enjoying Mr. Miyagi’s liberal use of them through our dishes, really elevating and brightening the flavours. 

Just in case we weren’t full enough, Mr Miyagi brought out the big guns, with his Miyagi Fried Chicken, with MFC seasoning and kewpie mayo. These had been talked up all night by the people who have visited before, and they didn’t disappoint. Succulent and so juicy, the batter wasn’t super crispy, but just enough so and was absolutely bursting with flavour. Despite groans of “We’re so full…” it didn’t take too long for the majority of the box to be demolished. 

A moment’s reprieve, then it was time to activate the second stomach for dessert and since we were at it…we may as well try all three offerings…right? 

Mr. Miyagi’s doughnuts, with a choice of classic apple cinnamon jam or hot chocolate sauce, with pistachio and gingerbread ice-creams, were generously sugar dusted fluffy balls, which I personally preferred with the hot chocolate sauce…but that’s always been more my preference. 

The chocolate mess with milk chocolate wanna cotta, Valhorna chocolate ganache, lava salt, orange oil, kinder surprise ice-cream and miso chocolate fudge totally slayed me. This is almost hard to share, as you just want to try absolutely every single component with every mouthful. The chocolate is rich, and there’s a nice array of textures to keep things interesting. 

However, the surprise knock out, is the pumpkin toast, with white chocolate and pumpkin ganache, honeycomb, yoghurt sorbet and spiced pumpkin ice-cream. I wish I had the words to describe this to you, the texture of the toast is so soft, and melts in your mouth, a lovely balance of sweet with a touch of savoury mingled in. Again, a lovely range of textures, from the cool sorbet, to the smooth ganache and the crunchy honeycomb. A delicious myriad of flavours; I’d have a hard time choosing between the chocolate dessert and this one if I were to return (but then again why would I choose..?)

Asian fusion can be a bit hit and miss sometimes, but Mr Miyagi hits all his targets, nailing his flavour profiles which are vivid, bright, rich and textural as well. I immensely enjoyed my meal, and am definitely hoping to return soon to sample more, the sticky soy lamb ribs have my name all over them… 

99 Chapel Street
Windsor 3181

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