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Miyake's-What's With $25 pp Minimum?

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Called Miyake in Portland for resv, and was told I could only make one before 6:30, so I made it for 6:00 for party of 2. After taking my name, and phone number, the man explained that since he was making a resv for us we would have to spend a minimum of $25 per person. He had a Japanese accent, so I assumed I had misunderstood and asked him to repeat it. Said the we'd each have to spend $25,for a total of at least $50. Have any other hounds had this experience? We've dined there twice before and loved it, but don't remember being asked to guarentee what we would spend! Never heard of having a minimum because you made a reservation!! And, at 6:00pm . . . And, if we were walk ins there would be no minimum. Hmmmm, wonder if our bill comes to $47.50 if he'll round it up to $50?? Thoughts?

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  1. We love Miyake. This is big city sushi, and probably on the cheap. You won't have any trouble spending $50 there, and you'll want desert after.

    1. I've never heard of such a policy before.

      1. I have never heard of anything like it, I would probably cancel my reservation just out of total disgust. With todays economy? That is just bizarre.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gryphonskeeper

          We went last nite, and did have a terrific meal. But, I agree, while most restaurants are now offering 1/2 portions and light meals in an effort to make dining out more affordable, Miyake's is setting a min purchase price. Everyone around us at the restaurant clearly ordered far more than the min. Wonder why they felt they have to have that policy? Maybe because they are small and do not have a liquer license, they don't want anyone taking up a table to order appetizers?? But, strange if you are a walk in there is no min, only for those who take the time to make a resv.
          On another note, we've been to Miyake's several times, but this is the first time they've had a printed menu. Sad to see 2 of our favs didn't make it to menu - crunchy, spicy roll (which was rolled in black sesame) and the seaweed salad (just seaweed, no other greens - was terrific). But, menu certainly did offer a selection of items we liked, and our meals were excellent. I had the 20 piece selection of nigiri, and husband had a special of broiled lobster, crabmeat and scallops.

        2. This is pretty typical in bigger city restaurants with minimal seating. Masa is merely watching his bottom line. In fact, I'm sure most restaurants would love to have this rule.

          1. We went the other night and made reservations and were told about the $25 minimum ahead of time. The place is so small and they were turning people away on a Mon. night. Maybe the minimum prevents people from taking up a table and ordering a tuna roll and water and sitting there for 2 hours.

            1. LOVE Miyake. Worth every penny. We ate there last week and had the 7 course tasting and ate food rarely found in Maine. So creative, fresh, and served by professionals.

              1. As some others have responded, it's because the seating is so limited, they need to ensure that they get top dollar (or minimum dollar) for the prime real estate (seating). If you have worked in a restaurant, you would know about the all too common no-shows/late-shows/lingerers/malingeres, etc. I think it's a brilliant policy and no one that I know who has eaten there has been disappointed.