We had a taste of true Japanese decadence and fine-dining at Mikuni Japanese Restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel. We were there for our Valentines Day dinner this year, and despite it being a full house, the staff were exceedingly polite and knowledgeable, and I was presented with a lovely red rose as we were leaving. Such a nice touch, and the whole dining experience truly made our evening and capped off a wonderful day in celebration of love :)
The interior of Mikuni is moody and dark, with an ultra-luxe ambience. There are three live stations – Teppanyaki, Sushi and Robatayaki. Each are headed up by a master chef, all quietly and deftly working behind their counters.
We chose the Sushi counter, because it seemed the most dynamic and fun. Plus, I’m always a sucker for counter seating – I like being right in the action!
A delectable carafe of sake. This was simply… SPLENDID. So delicate to the palate, yet with a lovely and light aftertaste. Only danger is that this is just so good that you’re tempted to chug the whole lot – quickly ;)
A little treat of Mikuni’s rendition of prawn crackers. It’s thin pastry, crisp fried, and with a scattering of seasoning. Yes, it does have that prawn cracker taste, but ever so delicate and light. A nice little side to munch on, though I wish they refilled it – it would have been nice to nibble on it through our meal.
The Ama Ebi aka Sweet Prawn (3 for $28) was staggeringly expensive. But it’s one of my favourite sashimi picks (alongside salmon sashimi), so we went for it. It didn’t disappoint. The prawn flesh was milky, creamy, and the sweetness really came through. All I can say is – this was AWESOME and I’d get it again!
The beautifully presented Crispy Fried Squid, Truffle Miso Mayo, Lime ($20) was both enticing and bland. The squid itself could have been cooked in a tastier batter – it was borderline tasteless, with the batter ever so slightly on the mushy side. However, that truffle miso mayo was delicious, and we eagerly used our squid to scoop up lashings of it.
The Hokkaido Sweet Corn ($15) was part of their Robatayaki selection, and boasted a brilliant charcoal flavour. The sweetness was contrasted well against the sea salt flakes we dipped our corn into. Delicious.
I didn’t feel the Hokkaido Scallops ($32) lived up to its price point. The scallop shell was large and impressive, but the scallop in it was sliced up and actually rather tasteless and even a tad rubbery. We immediately regretted not getting the scallop sashimi instead, which looked succulent and so inviting!
At least the melted butter and onion sauce this one came with was delicious, especially drizzled in the Garlic Fried Rice ($12) from the Teppanyaki station we’d ordered (not pictured).
The Australian Tenderloin ($75) from the Teppanyaki station ranked up there was one of the best steaks I’ve had. It was very simply cooked – just on the Teppanyaki grill and with a very light glaze. The flavour of the steak really came through, and the bite was perfect. It was meaty with no sinews, and so easy to chew. The crispy fried onion and fat mushroom were also excellent!
The star dish of the night :) Our Grilled Boston Lobster with Sea Urchin Cream ($48). This arrived on a large platter, sitting proudly on heated black smooth pebbles. I’ll tell you straight up – I haven’t had a lobster that has tasted this good, was this tender, and was as easy to eat. The flesh was cut away from the shell and chopped into large chunks, so we simply needed to pick up each chunk with our chopsticks instead of struggling with it. Not to mention the large claws were peeled for us. Brilliant!
It was ultra tender, and that sea urchin cream – oooooooooooh!! The umami flavour and creaminess of it was addictive, and we scooped and slurped up every last drop. GOOD GRIEF THIS WAS GOOD.
After seeing the Selection of mochi ice cream from Japan ($28) price tag, I was thinking, “what warrants the cost when I can go to the Japanese supermarket near where we live, and buy the same thing from their ice cream freezer?”
As it turns out – not much :P
We ordered it simply because we felt like mochi ice cream, but truth be told, it’s the same as buying good quality Japanese mochi ice cream from the super market. The tiny balls were very very good, and beautifully presented no doubt, but next time I’d rather buy a few boxes at the supermarket instead of getting only 3 pieces here.
But, it was a nice, sweet little dessert to cap off our Valentines Day meal :)