Sherman's Food Adventures: Minami (Spring Menu)

Minami (Spring Menu)

As much as I praise the food at Miku and Minami, I haven't been back for a long time.  Well, that is not true, I was at Miku last year (which was tasty as usual).  But for Minami, it has been 6 years!  Trust me, it is not because I've been avoiding the place either.  If I had my preference, I'd be there every week dining on Aburi Salmon Oshi.  However, trying out new spots in town and traveling have taken precedence.  So when I was invited, along with Nora, to sample their new Spring menu, they didn't have to ask twice.

Before we got down to the new dishes, we were served a small bite consisting of Golden Herring with chili soy and bonito flakes.  I enjoyed the pop from the roe combined with the brininess of the firm herring.  Flavours were bright and balanced.  The soy was sweet with a touch of spice while the bonito another layer of good fishiness.  Our first plate was the Kabayaki Glazed Octopus with sauteed potatoes, heirloom gem tomatoes, shaved fennel, white balsamic vinaigrette, herbed tomato wasabi bell pepper compote and sesame soy emulsion.  Charred and smoky, the octopus was tender with the right amount of chew.  The combination of the emulsion and compote afforded both nutty aromatics and a tangy spice which paired well with the octopus and the tender potatoes.

Onto what I was personally looking forward to, we were presented with the Premium Oshi Trio consisting of Hokkaido Hotate and Botan Ebi, Albacore Tuna and Otoro and Japanese Wagyu and Country Style Bacon with green pea-shiso and red cabbage purees.  My favourite was the tuna with tobiko oroshi ponzu and yuzu zest.  I thought the tuna and otoro were on point in terms of their buttery texture as well as the fresh taste of the sea.  The natural flavours were accented by the light tanginess of the ponzu and yuzu zest.  The wagyu and bacon was pretty tasty as well with the saltiness of the bacon coming through.  Tang and some background heat at the end was provided by the wasabi negi relish.  Also naturally sweet with a slight snap from the shrimp, the hotate and ebi was accented by the brininess of the mentaiko aioli.

Our mains began with the Fraser Valley Pork and Bacon Wrapped Scallop.  The braised pork cheek was super tender and moist.  It was glazed with sweet shoyu which caramelized and complimented the natural meat flavour.  I found the scallop to be tender and just cooked through while the classic bacon accompaniment added the necessary saltiness.  Rounding out the plate, we found a creamy and sweet carrot puree, spicy togarashi chicharron, grilled baby zucchini and grilled pineapple salsa.  Beautifully plated, the 10 oz. AAA Sterling Silver Aburi Ribeye Steak was prepared rare and served with baked Yukon potato puree, shallot crisps, peppercorn veal jus and spiced herb butter.  The meaty steak was more than enough food for one person (we didn't even finish it).  It was nicely charred and was flavourful from the peppery jus.  Due to its doneness, the steak was a touch chewy.

Striking to look at, the desserts included Earl Grey Mousse and Mango Coconut Verrine.  Hidden within the sticky meringue, we found a sweet orange coulis.  It sat atop a firm and aromatic earl grey shortbread.  The yuzu ice cream stayed frozen despite us taking our time with our pictures.  It was more like a sorbet, being refreshing and citrusy.  The dark chocolate espuma was fun where it was fluffy and light.  That was good, but the mango coconut verrine was our favourite.  It featured a beautifully textured coconut pannacotta topped with a flavourful mango gelee.  This was all accented by a tropical compote, coconut crumble, creme fraiche, coconut tapioca and passion fruit macaron.  The whole thing just ate light and with the fruit flavours, it was refreshing and aromatic.  Alright, I should just ignore some of the new restaurants and stick with the gold standards.  This visit to Minami reinforced my love for the place where the food is well thought-out and delicious.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Solid aburi as expected
- Food tasted good, but the plating was appealing
- Sat outside on the patio, great space

The Bad:
- Steak wasn't as tender as expected


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