Miko Sushi is as traditional as it gets in Vancouver
I like traditional sushi. A lot. And it seems to be getting harder to find in Vancouver. I appreciate a place that politely but firmly refuses to make rolls with cream cheese in them :-). Miko is such a place. They've been quietly drawing people in to their small but comfortable room on Robson for more than 20 years. Not sure why I haven't been till now but really glad I went. Thanks fmed for the extra push :-).
Dear friend J and I needed a "catchup" dinner in a big way, so izakaya were out. Miko fit the bill as the room is quite tranquil without being hushed, even when it gets fuller as it did while we yakked. The room has a ton of blond wood on the walls and between the tables, a look I quite like. It reminded me of my long-gone favourite udon place (three restaurants before Yuji's which is now also gone!). The walls are also covered with signatures of famous folk who have visited -- lots of NHLers up there.
Sushi is a good option for the gluten challenged. The server was very helpful in that regard, even tipping us off to a bit of house-made mirin in the ponzu sauce for the usuzukuri. In fact, service was uniformly top notch all evening.
Prices here are indeed higher than the other Japanese places I frequent in the city. It's been a while since I spent $35 outside of Kimura's omakase. But it was worth it. The quality of the ingredients and the execution of all the dishes was spot on. And my friend graciously did not flinch when the bill arrived, agreeing that though pricier than her usual haunts, the value was there.
We had ebi and wakame sunomono, ginnan (deep-fried gingko nuts), 2 orders of the goma-ae -- which incidentally was outstanding, the best version I've tasted, salmon kama (collar or neck as it was noted on the menu, cooked perfectly which is no mean feat), yaki nasu (eggplant), hirame usuzukuri (very thinly sliced flounder), a made-to-order roll of natto, yamaimo, tuna and kaiware that was my idea of heaven, an appetizer tempura which the crunchiest, lightest batter I've had in years and an inventive, well-balanced vegetable maki to round things out. None of the portions were huge and some were quite small which contributed to the total as we ordered more. But we were both nicely full and supremely satisfied.
It was delightful to find things on the menu that I didn't recognize and likely aren't translated because only Japanese would order them eg nuta ae. I'm kicking myself that I didn't order yaki onigiri as this is one of my favourite snacks! Next time...
Not exactly to the point, but I had the chance to try Sushi Kamura this week for the first time. Although it was Monday and they were out of some things I wanted, what I did order by way of sushi was superb. The quality of the sushi rice was especially good. Excelllent tempura as well. Thanks for the good steer
Never been to Miko, we don't eat downtown much these days.
But as for "traditional" sushi joints go, I can think of a few that might fit the description albeit with less glam:
I'm sure there's more.
We used to really like Musashi on Denman @ Robson. Anyone know where the owner might have gone, or some of their staff ?
Will have to try the unagi if we go with dad (I'm into anago these days, which is much harder to get, sadly).
I've tried Shiro and Ajisai which agree are more traditional in terms of menu but Miko has it for the ambiance etc for me. Only peeped into Hachibei so it may do the trick -- I under the set menus are the way to go there, rather than the sushi, though. Kura sounds like the atmo might not suit me and besides it's too close to Hunan etc nr Metrotown -- I'd never make it past those faves :-). Will deffo keep it in mind if sushi in Bby is in order, so thanks for the recco.
778 16th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V5Z1S7, CA
I don't really know why Miko continues to fly under the radar (relatively speaking). I used to work near there many years ago and ate there a few times a week. I have been back a few times over the years and most recently with my kids just a couple of months ago. As good as ever.
BTW - I think their BBQ unagi is my favourite in town.