The Aburi sushi fuses together old and new taking your taste buds on a delectable journey.
Originally hailing from Vancouver, where its doors opened in 2008, Founder Seigo Nakamura brought Miku to Toronto’s waterfront in October 2015. Having grown up in Japan and been surrounded by food his whole life, Seigo has successfully transferred his passion and expertise to create a memorable dining experience. After spending years perfecting his technique in Japan, Seigo was the first person to introduce Aburi style sushi to Canada in 2008. The flame-seared Nigiri is now a stand-out on the menu at Miku and rightfully so. The Aburi sushi fuses together old and new taking your taste buds on a delectable journey.
HOLR was invited to try the Aburi Prime Set Menu and walked away with a lasting impression.
Located in the lobby of the RBC Water Park Place, Miku resides in an expansive 7,000 square foot space. The walls are covered in hand-painted murals by Japanese street artist Hideki Kimura, and the space is large enough to fit 200 people. A waiter by the name of Han graciously greets our table and dives into explaining the set menu laid out before us. The focus of the menu is, of course, the flame-seared Nigri, which is preceded by an amuse-bouche and appetizers, and followed by dessert. Han informs us that a carefully curated menu of sake will be accompanying each course.
The amuse arrives at the table, a Pan Seared Foie Gras with a hatcho miso glaze and barley accompanied with a glass of Kozaemon Junmai Umeshu sake. The dish is just the perfect amount of rich and sweet and while we want to savour it, it is too good not to inhale. Han then brings over what’s called the ‘Kaiseki Trio’ that consists of Aburi Beef Carpaccio, Saikyo Miso Baked Sablefish, and Fresh Sashimi. The trio arrives in a specially designed Arita-yaki plate ware. The bowls are stacked on top of each other making it look like one dish until Han disassembles them. We try the Carpaccio first. The flavours are delicately balanced between the jalapeno ponzu and wasabi crème fraîche, and the Asian pear and greens. Next we try the sablefish, which pairs well with the truffled parsnip puree. We finish off with the sashimi and a few sips of Gold Omachi Junmai Daiginjo sake.
When Han comes out with the Aburi sushi he gives a little background information. The rice under the seafood, which is pressed, is a style of sushi called Oshi and it’s one of the oldest forms of sushi. Hundreds of years ago, fisherman would have pressed sushi in a box with vinegar and other toppings as their lunch that they would take on the boat with them. Then as time went on, chefs in Japan eventually began to experiment with toppings and torching the seafood, which is when Aburi sushi was born. The nine pieces of Aburi on the menu have different types of seafood on them, and the torching technique enhances the flavour of the fish. This mixed with the handpicked garnishes and sauces create an irresistible fusion of flavours in your mouth, with every piece leaving you more satisfied than the last. While we would recommend trying all of the pieces, the Japanese Uni with smoked salt and nori crisp, the Snow Crab with truffle Miku sauce, black truffle and lemon zest, and the A5 Japanese Wagyu with spicy garlic, black daikon, and lemon zest were our favourites. The night ends with a delicious Green Tea Opera Dessert and an Indigo Wind Junmai Sparkling Sake. For anyone who hasn’t been to Miku, we can’t recommend enough that you add it to your list of restaurants to try.
Written by: K.T Edwards
The Aburi Prime Set Menu is available to book today for $98 a person plus $39 for the sake pairings.