Sake of the Week: Tenzan Shichida Junmai

This week we are featuring a sake from a new prefecture: Tenzan Shichida Junmai.

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

The Shichida Junmai comes from Tenzan Sake Brewery, which is located in Saga Prefecture on the southwestern of Kyushu in Japan. Established in 1875, the brewery derives its name from the local Mount Tenzan, and the sake name from the brewery’s owners, the Shichida family.

A unique fact about this brewery is that alongside sake production, they also used to mill flour, produce noodles, and polish sake rice. Since the 1960’s, however, the brewery has closed their other businesses to focus on their premium sake production. Their streamlined efforts have definitely not gone unnoticed, as the brewery’s dedication towards their sake truly shines through in their lineup.

ABOUT THE SAKE:

The Shichida Junmai is a muroka style sake, meaning that it is non-charcoal filtered. While all sakes undergo some filtering of sorts, muroka only implies it is not done with charcoal. Instead, muroka style sakes are often brewed in a manner in which the final product is more clear and clean and simply do not need further filtration. On the nose, this sake offers a pleasantly sweet aroma of melon, honey, and green apple. On the palate, hints of pear and florals help provide just a touch of dryness, well balanced with mild acidity.

At Miku, we serve the Tenzan Shichida Junmai by the bottle.

SAGA FACT:

Saga Prefecture is also home to the famous Arita ceramics. This is where our beautiful, artisan Kaiseki plateware come from.

Sake Feature: Yamahai

For this week’s Sake Feature, we delve into another prominent sake on our beverage list by Tamanohikari Brewery: the Yamahai.

 

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

Last week, we introduced Kyoto Prefecture-based Tamanohikari brewery by way of the Gold Omachi. Since 1673, Tamanohikari has been brewing premium quality sake with dedication, care, and tradition. Their commitment to the junmai tradition is particularly displayed in their Yamahai sake. This long-standing brewing method takes around double the time and skill to accomplish, often yielding complex flavours and aromas that are funky, earthy, and savoury. Adding to their prestige, Tamanohikari also polishes all of their own rice to ensure the upmost quality and purity in their sake.

 

THE YAMAHAI METHOD

Yamahai is a traditional way of making sake where, rather than adding lactic acid to deter microbes and bacteria from spoiling the fermentation, no lactic acid is added and thus the sake is left to ferment naturally. Flavour-wise, this sake is richly textured, with higher levels of umami and acidity, and also a touch of sweetness. On the nose, the yamahai is more funky with savoury, grainy, and rich notes of umami in the form of mushroom and dashi.

At Miku, we serve Yamahai by the bottle.

 

PAIRS WELL WITH:

Rich flavoured dishes. We recommend our AAA Sterling Silver Prime Rib, Kyoto Saikyo Miso baked Sablefish, Kaisen Soba Peperoncino, or crunchy Ebi Fritters.

For a fresh take, try the Yamahai sake warmed in our natural hot bath.

 

Sake Feature: Gold Omachi

For part 3 of our Sake Features we explore a longstanding guest favourite, the Gold Omachi.

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

Gold Omachi is crafted by Tamanohikari Sake Brewery located in Kyoto, Japan. This brewery is especially unique for a multitude of reasons, one of which is that they only produce Junmai sake. Junmai sake has no added alcohol and require nearly double the rice to produce the same volume as sake with added alcohol.

 

PIONEERING JUNMAI REVIVAL:

Tamanohikari was the pioneer of reviving the making of Junmai sake in 1964, after adding alcohol became mainstream due to rice shortages post World War II. Junmai is sake in its purest form — a notion truly reflected in the brand’s quality sake.

 

ABOUT THE SAKE:

Gold Omachi, eponymously, is brewed using omachi rice. Unlike many other sake rices, which are bred by agriculturalists, omachi is a pure rice strain.

Omachi imparts flavours that are generally more earthy and herbal rather than floral and fruity. These flavours are easily distinguishable in the depth, fullness, and slight dryness provided by the Gold Omachi sake.

At Miku, we serve the Gold Omachi by the glass, half-litre, and full bottle.

 

PAIRS WELL WITH:

Dishes of equal delicateness. Our sushi, sashimi, and kaisen (seafood) pair perfectly with this premium sake.

Sake Feature: Taru

Part 2 of our Sake Feature series is finally here! This session we are highlighting Taru – Kiku Masamune.

 

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

The Taru sake comes from Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewery located in Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture. Since its founding in 1659, Kiku-Masamune has prided itself on the “pursuit of dryness” in its sake. In order to produce the brand’s signature smooth and dry sakes, the brewery uses the Kimoto method.

KIMOTO METHOD

The Kimoto method is an ancient traditional brewing technique where natural lactic acid bacteria is utilized in order to create the yeast starter, which is then used for fermentation. Most sake breweries simply add lactic acid to their yeast starter as using the Kimoto method is incredibly laboursome and takes approximately double the time in comparison.

ABOUT THE SAKE:

The Taru is a dry Junmai sake that was matured in Yoshino cedar barrels. As such, on the nose Taru offers a lovely cedar aroma, and on the palate a dry yet refreshing taste. Pairing wonderfully with food, Taru complements rich, full-bodied, and spicy dishes best.

At Miku, we serve Taru Kiku-Masamune by the glass, half-litre, and bottle.

FUN FACT:

The resulting sake from the Kimoto method is generally more wild in flavour and aroma, and often, flavours of umami and acidity become more pronounced as well.

 

Sake Feature: Jikon Junmai Daiginjo

We are kicking off our Sake Feature series with the Mie-based Jikon Junmai Daiginjo.

 

ABOUT THE BREWERY

Jikon Junmai Daiginjo comes from the Kiyasho Brewery in Mie Prefecture on Japanʼs honshū (main island). Based in Nabari city, the brewery is surrounded by towering mountains and sits elevated above sea level. This location experiences a wide range of temperatures, from cold winters to humid summers, which creates a very fertile land for rice cultivating. The use of traditional and laboursome techniques paired with two hundred years of sake making knowledge and experience makes Jikon one of Japanʼs most sought-after sake brands.

 

ABOUT THE SAKE

Jikon Junmai Daiginjo is a sake that truly represents the hard work put into its making. Brewed with 100% Yamada Nishiki rice, the daiginjo is beautifully aromatic with hints of melon, vanilla, and banana. Jikon is pasteurized only once to retain its liveliness and freshness, and its delicate yet rich flavours leave a finish that is elegantly long.

At Miku, we serve the Jikon Junmai Daiginjo by the bottle.

 

FUN FACT

This sake is made using the fukuro tsuri or ʻbag hanging” method. Sake is separated from sakekasu by hanging and dripping rather than pressing. This results in a sake of high quality and intense flavour.

 

Mother’s Day Weekend at Miku

Say thank you the Miku way this Mother’s Day with our special features for both lunch and dinner.

Available May 11-12. View our photo preview below, and our full menu here.

Book now for best availability.

LUNCH

Mother’s Day Chef’s Select

Enjoy our feature Chef’s Select lunch with the family, featuring twelve pieces of our most famous Aburi Oshi, specialty rolls, and both Aburi and traditional style nigiri. This indulgent lunch set is also served with our Prawn and Quinoa Salad kobachi and miso soup.

DINNER

Kansha Mother’s Day Kaisen Platter

Our Kansha Mother’s Day Kaisen Platter is the ultimate treat for seafood-loving moms. Featuring our chef’s curated selection of six West Coast and Japan-sourced sashimi, fresh Oysters, Kanpachi Crudo, and Smoked Hokkaido Scallop.

 

Earl Grey Brûlée 

Created by Lead Pastry Chef Miki Kaiju, this delightful Mother’s Day exclusive is crafted with aromatic earl grey blue star-infused custard, decadent salted honey lavender chantilly, kinako crumble, and served with fresh seasonal berries.

Sakura Season at Miku

With the cherry blossom season approaching, we will be serving our limited-time Sakura Features menu.

This year, our chefs have created a delicious chilled Atlantic Lobster Tail with Sakura Herb Salsa, Sakura Cherry Mascarpone Cream dessert, and bartender Elson Cheng has concocted our feature Yozakura cocktail to celebrate the season.

This menu will be available from April 8 – April 21, during dinner only.

We are excited to share our photo preview below. View our full menu here, and book now for best availability.

COCKTAIL

Yozakura

Created by bartender Elson Cheng, Yozakura is crafted with pisco, cherry herring cherry bitters, lime, and finished with an edible flower garnish

The finishing touch of the edible flower garnish ties this light and refreshing cocktail together with the spring season seamlessly

KAISEN from the sea

Atlantic Lobster Tail with Sakura Herb Salsa

Our decadent Atlantic lobster tail is served chilled, topped with a fragrant sakura herb mustard salsa

This dish is served with refreshing greens, featuring heirloom cherry tomato and watermelon radish drizzled with a white balsamic vinaigrette

Valentine’s Evening at Miku

Valentine’s Day Kaiseki

Woo your valentine with an evening at Miku.

Indulge in our feature set menu, the five-course Valentines’ Day Kaiseki, and enjoy an unforgettable dining experience to pair with your favourite company.

We are excited to present you a preview of our menu below.

View the full Valentine’s Day Kaiseki menu here, and book early for best availability.

Our Valentine’s Day Kaiseki and Premium Sake Pairing are available exclusively on February 14th, for dinner only.

AMUSE BOUCHE

Brie Fondant

Chef Paul Chen sought inspiration from the colours of the spring season for this amuse bouche; he created this dish with the idea of a reconstructed cheese fondant in mind, and adorned the Brie Fondant with florals (osmanthus, lavender, rose) to enhance its overall vibrancy and fragrance.

ZENSAI

Arita Kaisen Globe

A new seafood feature from chef Ernest Lee, our Alaskan King Crab is accompanied by edamame velouté, burnt onion purée, ikura, and nori on a rice crisp

Our feature sashimi include local BC botan ebi (spot prawn), chū-toro Kanpachi (amberjack) from Fukuoka prefecture of Japan, and scallop from Hokkaido

Our local oyster is served two ways: one fresh with lime pearls and cucumber vinaigrette, and one in our signature Aburi style with shiso tempura, blood orange purée, and wasabi espuma

SHUSAI

Ōra King Salmon

Ōra king salmon, which we use in this entrée, is certified OceanWise by the Vancouver Aquarium

We source our sustainable Ōra king salmon from New Zealand

SUSHI

Valentine’s Day Aburi Sushi Selection

Our signature Aburi sushi is lightly flame seared with binchotan, oak charcoal, for a smoky finish

DESSERT

Salted Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fondant

Lead Pastry Chef Miki Kaiju is the mastermind behind this beautiful confection

The decadent fondant is paired with a light and refreshing pear ginger sorbet for a balance in both flavour and texture

Celebrate the Holidays at Miku

Feast on our decadent five-course Holiday Kaiseki to celebrate the season of joy and happiness with friends and family this year.

Indulge in our chef’s Aburi Sashimi Selection, seven kobachi Zensai (served in our artisan Arita plateware), deluxe Surf and Turf entrée, world-famous Aburi Sushi course, and conclude the evening with our exclusive holiday Chestnut Caramel Gâteau for dessert. Don’t forget to pair this dining experience with our special Holiday Sake Pairing, curated by our in-house Sake Specialist Miki Ellis.

Our Holiday Kaiseki is available December 1st – December 30th, during dinner only.

View our exclusive photo preview below, and book now for best availability.

Click here to view the full menu.

 

Sashimi

Aburi Sashimi Selection

Zensai

Surf and Turf

Aburi Lobster Tail and Japanese Wagyu

 

Sushi

Miku Holiday Sushi Selection

 

Dessert

Chestnut Caramel Gâteau

Celebrating 10 Years of Miku

We’re celebrating a decade of serving our signature Aburi cuisine.

When owner and CEO Seigo Nakamura first opened the doors of the original Miku flagship on Thurlow in 2008, he already knew that he was creating an exciting new trend in the Vancouver Japanese restaurant scene.

Fast forward to 2018, Miku has since moved, expanded, opened in Toronto, and thanks to everyone’s support we have established a prominent presence on both coasts of the country. Though many seasons have passed, we at the original Vancouver flagship have not forgotten our passion, continuing our commitment towards providing amazing service and innovative cuisine to our most important guest – you.

Now reaching our 10th year, we are excited to host a very special anniversary event at Miku. Throughout the month of October, we will be celebrating this decennial milestone with a limited-time 10 Year Anniversary Kaiseki.

We are excited to show a sneak peek of this upcoming exclusive dining experience.

View the course previews below, and the full menu here. Don’t forget to book early for best availability.

 

AMUSE BOUCHE

An excellent starter to this six-course dining experience, our Wagyu Beef Carpaccio is lightly seared, drizzled with jalapeño ponzu, and finished with our crisp asian pear, asian greens, and lotus root chips.

ABURI SASHIMI & TARTARE

Our Aburi Sashimi & Tartare course features our chef’s three fresh selections for the season: Local BC Botan Ebi (spot prawn) topped with our yuzu orange salsa and dried olive, Hamachi (yellowtail) with avocado coulis and golden tobiko, and our Chū-Toro Tartare served with our signature togarashi masatake sauce and housemade parsnip crisps.

SEA

Back exclusively for this decennial celebration, our Lobster Bouillabaisse features a fragrant tomato saffron broth with half lobster tail, scallop, mussel, and clam, and is served with a crisp iwanori butter baguette.

LAND

Always a guest favourite, our AAA Sterling Silver Filet Mignon Steak is grilled to perfection and served with our roasted market vegetables, veal jus, and wasabi pickles.

SUSHI

Our 10th Anniversary Sushi Selection features our chef’s selection of Miku’s signature Aburi Oshi, roll, and nigiri sushi. This delectable plate includes our world-famous Salmon and Ebi Oshi Sushi, Miku Roll, Red Wave Roll, as well as our Aburi Ō-Toro, Kanpachi (amberjack), and Hotate (scallop) nigiri.

DESSERT

Last but certainly not least, our dessert to end this celebratory evening is the light and creamy Matcha Grand Marnier Tiramisu. Created by Head Pastry Chef Chris Janik, who has been with Miku since the very beginning, this special tiramisu features layers of crunchy vanilla sablé, grand mariner infused matcha almond sponge, mascarpone mousse dusted with matcha, and is served with cinnamon and cardamom infused figs, Valrhona white chocolate tuile, and white coffee ice cream.

 

This Kaiseki menu is available for dinner only, up to one hour before closing.