Miraku is a Japanese fine dining restaurant which has recently landed in Paradigm Mall. If you are from Penang and wondering why this sounds so familiar, there’s another one located at G Hotel, Penang too. Miraku, meaning “a great place”, aims to provide the art of Japanese dining for the public, especially those who wish to nourish their inner gourmand.
Featuring a huge selection of dishes, Miraku has several menus to suit everyone’s need: The Grand Menu, Lunch Specials (with reasonable pricing too), Specialty Menu which changes regularly, and Desserts Menu. We went there on a Saturday night for an invited review.
A whopping total of 17 dishes were served on that night but first, we were treated to some Zensai to whet our appetite. These are complimentary with your meal, although the vegetables do change according to availability.
I enjoyed the simplicity of these appetizers. The vegetables are all well-seasoned and fresh. A good start to the evening.
We were served 3 types of salads. You might have noticed that all of them have the same combination of vegetables, with different toppings. Miraku salad was adorned with Salmon Sashimi “Rose” and Crab sticks, probably the most popular salad for the night. The Ontama Salmon features a soft boiled egg, fried salmon skin, and deep fried noodles, which provided an interesting contrast in texture. Soba salad was pretty mediocre though. All of them came with a variety of dressing to enhance their taste. Well, at least they added to the vegetable quota of the day.
The next course attracted plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” around the room, as it was an impressive display of mixed sashimi. The sashimi here is air flown every Tuesday and Friday, to ensure freshness and quality.
What have we got here? Well… there are Tuna, Snapper, Octopus, Salmon Roe, Scallops, Siakap, Red Lion Fish, Salmon, Flat Fish and Mackerel in the mix. What an mouthful! I didn’t get to sample all of them but I was surprised that Raw Snapper and Siakap actually tasted good! I enjoyed the umami Salmon roe, especially the popping sensation. I should also mention that they use grated fresh wasabi, which improve the experience significantly.
What a tongue twister trying to pronounce these two dishes, especially the latter. Sounds like some kind of Kungfu Moves, doesn’t it? Kaki (meaning foot in Malay) actually refers to Oysters. Here, we have a cheesy baked version and ones with spicy miso paste. It’s hard to pick which one I liked more, as they were both fabulous in their own ways. The cheese baked oysters were unapologetically rich, a great match with the creamy oyster. The spicy sauce was pretty addictive, complete with umaminess from the soy beans. Nice. Oh, the oysters (came directly from Japan) were unusually massive and juicy. Very well-executed.
The seafood feast continued with Deep Fried Flounder. The flounder was cut into pieces, coated with batter and deep fried for maximum crispiness. It was seasoned well, and I should imagine goes well with some beer or sake.
The Salt Grilled Mackerel erred on the salty side and wasn’t particularly spectacular, probably because I was unlucky to pick the bitter bit of the flesh. The others fared better though and this was finished in no time.
The dragon roll consists of prawns, avocado, seaweed and mayonnaise finished with a huge prawn head as garnish. It’s got the wow-factor for its presentation, and tasted pretty good with distinctive bite of fresh prawns, though I think they could pull back the Mayo a tad as it unfortunately drowned out all the flavours.
The next group of dishes were grouped together for they have one thing in common: they didn’t exactly ticked the right boxes.
For RM69.90, the Wagyu beef tataki (unsure of marble score and cut but I wouldn’t put my hopes up too high) was definitely a let-down. The flesh was pretty bland even with the condiments provided and it has a unappetizing chewy texture. I gave up after 2 slices. The Agedashi potato was another strange dish with not much flavour, and the accompanying seawood soup gave the potato a slimy appearance, the contrast between the two was like an arranged marriage with incompatible personalities.
Homemade tofu, although tasted alright, was a bit grainy in texture. Some enjoyed the Dobin Mushi, a soup served in teapot flavoured with some seafood but I felt that they did not cook the broth for long enough to extract any essence from the protein. You might wonder why the Mixed sushi ended up in this collage. It was very standard fare, and for some reason the fish they served was on the chewy side. I nearly choked on a couple of fish bones too. If I were you, I’d just stick to the Sashimi.
Next up came Dessert! Were Desserts the saving grace for the evening?
Well, redeemed themselves they did!! I enjoyed the Cheesy Tofu which paired really well with the blueberry sauce. The Wasabi Ice Cream was the most controversial, but the pungency was just balanced with the sweetness, I didn’t mind it at all. Annin Tofu (Almond) fared better than the other Tofu dish, and this one was smooth with a distinctive almond taste.
Along with me there were 13 other bloggers invited to the review. Despite the hits and misses, we had a great time chit-chat-ing away with plenty of belly laughs. Our end of the table was so noisy, I think the roof almost came down. Kudos to Miraku for great hospitality!