Friday, November 21, 2014

My Absolute Favorite - Minami

All my close friends know Minami is my No. 1 favorite restaurant. For a while, especially when it was new, I was obsessed with Minami. Working in downtown also contributed to the fact that I was able to have dinner at Minami at my convenience. I used to even drag different people with me so I could go couple times a week. And every time I go, I'll order the exact same stuff.

This is the thing about me ... when I found a new food item that I love, I'll keeeeeeppppppp eating it, over-eating it, I'll only stop until I get sick of it. Then that food is forever ruined, because by then, I will not even want to see it on the face of earth again. It happened to me all the time. One incident I remember was with Auntie's Anne's pretzel dogs. I remember my first bite into it was soooooooooo juicy and yummy, it was an unforgettable experience. My mind was filled with no other logical thoughts but, "omg I love it, omg I love it, omg I love it, EAT ALL THE PRETZEL DOGS !!!!!!!" THEN, I bought 10 extra long ones home and kept them in the freezer. One extra long one prob equals to 2-3 regular dogs. So I ate nothing but Auntie Anne's pretzel dogs for the next few days. By the time I finished, I wanted to puke out an Auntie Anne, no, I wanted to make Auntie Anne puke dogs ! I have ruined those dogs for me for years until last year, when I was willing to try it once more, with more logic. This happens to me with music too ! When I find a new song that I love, I'll keeeeeppppppp playing it on repeat for hours and change my ringtone/alarm to that song so I can listen to it allllllllll the time although having it on repeat is not enough hahahahaha But I guess I don't get sick of songs that easily, I've been playing Jersey Boy's sound track on repeat for about a year now and I still love it hahaha. Is this just me or normal people are like that too ?

Sorry, I digressed, especially if you are a hungry person reading this review from Urbanspoon, trying to decide where to eat, but encountered my disorder, hahahaha.

Anyway, so Minami. I think I had a short obsession with Miku when it first opened, but not as much as my craze for Minami. They basically serve the same menu, given they are operated under the same company, with only a slight difference, but I somehow religiously believe that Minami tastes better, more delicate. I hardly visit Miku anymore after Minami's birth, the new Miku by Canada Place was even more of a disappointment, but again, that could be my bias towards Minami.

Minami is located on Mainland, in Yaletown. It should be pretty easy to spot with its huge Japanese Kanji logo on the building. Parking is usually relatively difficult in Yaletown, but Minami offers valet at a reasonable rate. I forgot how much is valet, but I remember if you are going to dine for 2 hours or more, it's cheaper to go with the valet than finding your own street parking.

Like Miku, Minami offers a very western/Japanese fusion interior, with both an alcohol bar and a sushi bar. I don't usually make reservations at Minami unless I go with a bigger party or on the weekends as walk-ins can usually get a table with no wait.

You will first be presented with a drinking menu after your server politely introduced him/herself. I don't usually drink, but at Minami, I often order an umeshu on the rock.


I don't really read into the menu anymore because the unadventurous side of me only want to stick to what I love, haha. So please see below what I recommend you to order, especially if this is your first time : 

First and foremost, Minami and Miku are famous for their rolls. They are not your regular California Roll or Dragon Roll. Trust me, they are revolutionary !!!!!!! Here, I present you, Miku Roll and Crunch Scallop Roll.

The rolls in the first picture are actually the exact same rolls in the second picture. I took the second picture couple weeks ago, and I realized that their Crunchy Scallop Roll has changed to Crunchy Hokkaido Scallop Roll and tasted a bit different too. I can't really pin point the difference but I like the old one better : ( The new one has fewer "crunchy stuff" , and tasted ... err sorry for a lack of better description, more normal. Miku Roll is not on the menu, but they usually offer it if you ask for it, and it tastes amazing. It seriously brings you to a whole new sushi heaven, not your regular sushi heaven, but a fusion contemporary sushi heaven that only VIP Gods can go. I'm not even joking here. So if you don't believe in God, go to Minami, you will go to Heaven. 

Next, the Aburi Saba Pressed Sushi/ Aburi Saba Roll. I love love love Minami's aburi stuff - aburi means flamed seared sushi. Most (or all?) of their aburi stuff is topped by an innovative Miku exclusive sauce, that sauce, after being torched, is the steps to VIP Heaven. I love Saba, but if you are new to raw sashimi, or don't like things too fishy #punnotintended, Saba might not be a good choice. But Aburi Salmon Roll with Jalapeno is equally delicious.  

I wouldn't say Minami is also a leader with their Sashimis in Vancouver, but they are not bad. Even with sashimis, I stick to my usual: 

Minami often serves Uni and they are so fresh and sweet ! The scallop and sweet shrimp sashimi I love are never a appointment's as well. You can order them piece by piece, which makes it so easy and economical if you just want to satisfy an individual craving - hence that lonely unagi in the picture above.  

The appetizers are amazing as well. I mean, Minami doesn't just make its way to my No 1. position merely for its rolls. I used to reallyyyyyy love this dish they have taken out from the menu for a while now : ( It's this duck breast dish that tasted everrrrr soooooo tenderrrrrrrrr. Sigh. I miss that duck breast more than anything. 

The beef carpaccio below is pretty yummy, but the one thing that I'll always always always order is the Foie Gras Gyoza. I'm sorry, I know I know, foie gras. I wish I can quit it too .. But it really is one of my favorite food in the world. I'm trying to cut down that consumption and I will entirely support B.C. to ban foie gras if they ever wish to make that decision, but in the meanwhile, Minami's foie gras gyoza is so exquisite that it is worth a try.  You will not regret it. 

I usually become too full to enjoy desserts after a full dinner at Minami. Yes, they say desserts fit into a differet stomach, but trust me, I usually fill both of my stomachs after dining at Minami. Their desserts are very well presented and surprisingly pretty light, which I like. I do recommend you to leave some stomach space to nom the yums. 

Hmmm, to be honest though, Minami used to be even better than it is now. I'm not sure if I'm just used to lounging at the VIP Heaven, or it has really degraded from VIP Heaven to regular Heaven, but I remember enjoying Minami a lot more before. They are still extremely delightful though, I obviously still am one of their biggest fan, and I know I'll remain one for a very long time. 

Minami Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. I visited Minami during the Dine Out Vancouver festival back in January and I absolutely loved the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi. It was beautifully seared, contained excellent sushi rice and had just the right proportions of all the ingredients. I was also quite impressed with the Ebi Fritter. If you enjoy breaded shrimp, you should definitely give it a try! Happy belated birthday!

    1. I've never try the Ebi Fritter but will defn try it the next time I go ! :D

      Thank you ! but it wasn't my birthday, haha :D


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