1118 Mainland Street
T: 604 685 8080
Brief Description: A high-end, upscale Japanese restaurant in the heart of Yaletown. Prices are quite high but justified because of the excellent quality of food and service.
It is rare for me to rave about a Japanese/sushi restaurant. Yes, I enjoy certain types of sushi but on my scale of favourite foods, it is nowhere near the top. With that said, however, I’ve fallen pretty hard for Minami restaurant which is the sister restaurant of Miku restaurant. Minami opened in the old Goldfish spot in Yaletown early in summer 2012 and since it opened I have returned many times, sometimes for lunch and other times for dinner. Each and every time that I’ve visited, I have left impressed.
Firstly, I should warn you that Minami is quite pricey. This is Yaletown after all, and a cheap eat this is not. The cheapest thing on the menu are some of the specialty rolls at about $10 each, but the majority of dishes are much more than that. Entrees and beef dishes are in the $20 to $30 price range, noodle dishes are around the $18 mark, and appetizers start at around $13. Do I think the food is worth the cost? In my experience, yes. The seafood is incredibly fresh, the flavours of the dishes are clean and unmarked by heavy lashings of soy sauce, and the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi at $14 is one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time. The restaurant seems to take a lot of pride in presentation, therefore, dishes are beautifully plated.
The large dining room is decorated quite elegantly and booths line one side of the room for a slightly more intimate experience. Seating options include the bar, the sushi bar, the dining room, and an outdoor patio for warmer months. I have found the service to be very friendly and the servers are more than happy to explain dishes or find alternatives for vegans/vegetarian (a friend of mine who is vegan was well looked after when we went).
King Roll (no masago) – $10
Although I haven’t included many photos of the desserts in this post, the ones that I’ve sampled, and seen, have been quite spectacular. Even a simple dish of homemade ice cream and fresh fruit was delicious. What I’m trying to say is save some room for dessert!
Final Thoughts: Although Minami is on the expensive side, I truly believe it is worth the splurge, particularly if you are into sushi. The aburi sushi is worth a visit alone. A restaurant worthy of visiting for special occasions or first dates.