Sherman's Food Adventures: Miki Japanese Bistro

Miki Japanese Bistro

If you remember back to my revisit to Sushi Garden with Wolvie and Italian Stallion, I stated that good value eats can be part of a balanced diet.  Yes, I say this partly in jest, but really, we can't go eat at Miku everyday (although I would like to).  This time around, we skipped Sushi Garden and their crazy lineup and equally crappy parking situation on Lougheed.  Rather, we revisited the nearby Miki Japanese Bistro.  If my memory serves me right, the food was cheap albeit not particularly great.

Whatever the case, I always have an open mind about things because nothing can be perfect and besides, expectations must be tempered by cost.  Normally, there is not much to say about Wakame Salad since it is pretty standard stuff.  However, the one here was overdressed and fairly acidic.  On the other hand, it was a pretty large portion compared to other Japanese restaurants.  For our one specialty maki sushi, we went for the Miki House Roll filled with salmon tempura, cucumber and lettuce topped with sockeye salmon, avocado, bonito, tobiko, tempura bits and unagi sauce.  This was not very aesthetically-pleasing to look at and a chore to eat due to the overuse of rice.  About that rice, it was a bit too dry and bland for our liking.  At the very least, the whole thing was not grossly over-sauced.

Onto 2 items from the Robata menu, I was surprised to find out on our final bill that each one cost $4.95 when it clearly stated $3.95 on the menu.  Whatever the case, the portion size was rather good for the price.  Now portion size is one thing, but execution is more important.  In that regard, the Beef Short Ribs were pretty average at best.  They were not very meaty and when there was meat, it was pretty chewy.  I did enjoy the ample charring, yet they put far too much sauce on top which made it too salty and sweet.  As for the Salmon Belly, it was fatty and cooked just right where the skin was crispy while the meat was moist.  For some inexplicable reason, they drizzled the same sauce on top when the already seasoned belly tasted good on its own.

For my son, we got him the Bento Box B with Teriyaki Chicken, Tempura and California Roll. The teriyaki glaze atop the chicken was an unattractive pale brown, yet it wasn't overly sweet which made it bearable.  The rice was nicely chewy where it was accompanied by sauteed cabbage and sprouts.  As for the chicken, the skin wasn't rendered, but the meat was pretty tender and moist.  Sporting a pretty dark batter, the tempura was decent being crispy and relatively light. Of note, the California Roll was spiked with wasabi, which was a surprise and definitely not welcomed. Viv and I ended up splitting the Grilled Black Cod with rice and salad.  Again, they drizzled the overly powerful sauce on top which killed the buttery and well-charred black cod.  What's with the sauce anyways?  It was so salty and sweet, I couldn't even taste anything else.

Lastly, we had the Deluxe Assorted Sashimi consisting of salmon, tuna, ebi, hokkigai, hotate, tako, hamachi and mackerel.   This was also pretty average and in some sense, sub-par.  All 3 slices of salmon contained bones while the tuna was chewy and sinewy (an indication of an inferior cut).  At first, I wasn't sure the one piece of hamachi was indeed hamachi because it was so pale.  In the end, it was rather rough in texture and not very vibrant. Suffice to say, nothing much has change since my last visit to Miki.  The food is below average and not very "Japanese".  But its one saving grace is the value factor and relatively decent service.

The Good:
- Cheap
- Large portions
- Okay service

The Bad:
- Below average eats
- Not carefully prepared
- Parking lot is a joke for all the business in the plaza


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