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Oct 26, 2006 11:26 PM

Midori's Floating World Cafe - MSP

Ever since the first glowing review by Dara, we have been loyal and very regular customer's of Midori's Floating World Cafe; however, the last few times we went the service just kept getting worse and worse. I think it all started to fall apart when they lost their regular sushi chef and Midori started making the sushi herself. She does okay, but it can now take more than an hour to get served there. Last time we were there, we waited for 30 minutes just for someone to take our order. Also, it seems that no one is supervising the dining room now that Midori is doing sushi. It is so sad and so different from what it used to be like there.

So, we have not gone back to Midori's since August. Have things gotten better there, I hope? Has anyone been there recently? I miss Midori's and want to go back, but am reluctant to do so unless someone can verify that things have turned around.

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  1. We go quite frequently (usually once a week or every other week), and the service is still quite slow. We've decided to not be bothered by it, and to just make a leisurely evening of it, since we do love the food so much. We order beers and some tempura, since we know the sushi is going to take a while to be ready. I haven't personally experienced the same problem as you did regarding waiting for 30 minutes for a waitress to take your order; that may have been a fluke, but I can't say for sure.

    The biggest problem seems to be that they don't have a second sushi chef assisting like they used to (even after the original chef left, for a while Midori was doing sushi and had an assistant). Midori doing it all by herself is incredibly slow. I have heard this complaint a lot.

    It's really too bad, as it is a wonderful place and I'd hate to see it lose business and eventually close because of this. I've been thinking of sending a well-composed complaint letter or email to them; anyone else who loves the food but can't deal with the glacial pace of the service should as well.

    Word around the campfire is that Tu, the original sushi chef, is opening up his own place in the next couple of weeks somewhere in Dinkytown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mill City Modern

      Thanks for your reply. I sent quite a lengthy letter to Midori's over 6 weeks ago and never heard back from them, which is disappointing. I don't know what else to do at this point.

      One of the reasons that we loved Midori's so much originally is that we were always treated so graciously there. The worst part of the last evening we spent at Midori's was feeling totally ignored - no one was checking on us, no one noticed we hadn't placed our order, or been served. It is unfortunate.

    2. We too live in the 'hood and have been frequent visitors. It has really been a journey for them...and a real life course in what it takes to maintain a restaurant over the long haul.

      It was the first restaurant we took the chow-puppy to, and I hope it will remain there for a long while for her to enjoy.

      All that is a preface to saying that Midori's has become the type of restaurant that I just pull for...almost no matter what. I can put up with long waits, sub-standard service, long as the food quality remains high. I think Midori makes great, neighborhood sushi (as opposed to, well, destination sushi) in a friendly, non-pretentious atmosphere, which is really something in the sushi world where the prentention is often thick enough to cut with a yanagi ba.

      1. I love Midori's, and haven't personally seen any decline. But I don't get the sushi, so I'm not a good judge there. (Back when they had a dedicated sushi chef, I had observed that he was idle much of the time when I visited, so I can understand why he's no longer there - sad, but true.)

        Me, I almost always get the wonderful grilled fish dinner, because I'm addicted to the lovely variety of food included with this meal. In addition to the fish (salmon or sanma or makerel), you get salad, miso soup, pickles, two vegetable dishes (usually cucumber-seaweed salad, plus a starchy salad like lotus root-ginger salad, or roasted carrots, or potato-apple salad). Plus three slices of fruit. How can you not love a meal where you get all your food groups - and all your food colors - at once?

        For me, Midori's strength is those home-style dishes that other places don't have - like the fish dinner, or those rice balls with a pickled plum inside (yum!), or the egg custard.

        In addition - and perhaps this is the critical difference - our meal is almost always take-out, not dine-in. The hubby goes to pick it up, and he occasonally comments on some slowness or disorganization, but nothing major. He doesn't think that take-out is their forte - there's always confusion over how to package everything. But it always arrives in great shape.

        I'm like Dragon - I love Midori's food and atmosphere so much that I really want them to last. I hope they can pull through any service issues that they're currently having, because they really deserve to succeed.


        P.S. To answer Cassandra's question, our last meal (take out) was this week. It was yummy. And it was that grilled fish dinner. ... ... ... ... Oh dear, now I'm craving this meal again!

        1. Thanks to everyone who replied. I love the grilled fish dinner too, also the vegetarian dinner. Also, the soups. And, the pickles...

          Perhaps take out would be the solution for us. If we try Midori's again, I think we will do take out instead of dining in.

          I too very much want to see Midori's succeed, which is why I wrote them a letter and why I posted this on Chowhound. I'm hoping this feedback will inspire them to do what is necessary to get back on track.

          1. My wife and I were regulars of this neighborhood haunt and were at first so impressed by the personal service. You couldn't help but pull for it (not only because we want that corner of Mpls to succeed) because you felt like you were intimate with the staff. As of late, we've noticed the same thing... The service has been slower and since we have two kids, we have pretty much opted for food we know we can get quickly before any meltdown approaches by the little ones.

            A similar Mexican restaurant is right up Lake Street (El Norteno). Certainly not the best Mexican food in town, but a great place for a beer and some home style food on the patio served by the owners themselves.

            You've all encourated me to give Midori's another try...we'll hope for the best.