- Updated 16th Dec 2011; This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.
Arkensen and Nanzaro loves sushi. Mummy hates sushi.
That is the reason why we don’t go for sushi much. Suanne is one of those who just can’t understand why anyone would like uncooked food. 🙂
So every time when I suggest we go for Japanese, the boys will immediately say sushi and mummy will say ramen.
The Miyabi Sushi and Ramen restaurant is just the perfect restaurant for us to keep familial harmony. Normally, you find Japanese restaurants that either serves sushi or ramen but this one serves both. I can see this sort of combination working in Richmond.
Miyabi is new and located on Ackroyd Road. They took over the spot vacated by Specialty Chicken and Wonton House who moved a few door down.
Miyabi is Chinese owned and operated from what I can tell. The workers speaks Chinese but that is not a concern for us.
This is a 40 seater restaurant with mostly booth seats. There are also 6 counter seats too. It is clean, neat and comfortable.
Service is fast and efficient — down to business in every respect. The drinks and menu came the moment we got seated. Every time we needed anything we got it.
The menu is quite normal. Nothing really special about it. The menu looks like it is pretty much laid out for the Chinese customers because there is a sizeable section for Ramen and Donburi.
There is also another section for their specialty rolls which is pretty pricey at $9.
We were more interested in their Lunch Special which consists of combos off their main menu. This special is applicable from opening time and extends all the way to 5 PM.
Suanne made sure she has first pick, saying that she only wants Ramen and nothing else. She knows what she wants already. She wanted the Ramen lunch special.
So she had the … Cha-Shu Ramen combo which comes along with a choice of either gyoza or a California Roll for $9. She is such a dear as always and opted for the California Roll so that she can give it to Arkensen who she knows likes it a lot.
The ramen comes with fish cake, green onion, corns, sprouts, bamboo shoots, roasted onion, seaweed and spinach. She selected the miso soup base over shoyu.
Was it good? Well, it depends. The broth was kind of salty but otherwise hearty. For a noodle soup, it is tasty enough but you just can’t compare this with the many authentic Japanese ramen around.
As a comparison, G-Men Ramen is just a short drive away from Miyabi and their ramen is only $8.50 (but then it is just the ramen without the extras we get here). I also like Ajisen Ramen whose ramen is less than $8. So basically what I am saying is that there are better ramen nearby although Miyabi has slightly better value.
Some of the combos comes with miso soup.
Tell me … what is the miso soup to the Japanese? I learned that miso is like a staple at a Japanese breakfast but is it also commonly drank for lunch and dinner? I am guessing that the Miso Soup is as common to the Japanese as Kimchi is to the Koreans where they have it everyday.
Anyway, I did a bit of Googling and found that there is actually a Japanese proverb that says “A bowl of miso a day keeps the doctor away” … or something like that. In North America, we eat an apple to keep the doctors away. In Japan, it is the miso soup.
Since Suanne already “chouped” the ramen lunch special, I had to settle for second best. There are eight types of donburis and each of them costs $8.
I decided to go for the Gyu Don (Beef & Egg). The soft egg blankets the top of the bowl sort of like keeping the moist and flavour in the bowl. There is also a bit of vermicelli and cabbage.
However, this was quite dry and flavourless. Moreover the beef was not as tender as it could be. For sustenance, this should do it but I can’t say I enjoyed it.
These are rare moments. Nanzaro and Arkensen decided that they share some rolls. They never do that to one another. They might share with mum or dad but I don’t recall them saying “let’s share a few rolls”. It’s just a flash in a pan. I am not raising any hopes that they decide to be close buddies.
You know, Arkensen and Nanzaro cares for one another but they just don’t want to admit it. They go to the same school and yet they do not want to be seen walking to and from school together. I asked them if they even acknowledge one another if they bump into each other in school. They laughed at my question!
Mervin’s Roll ($9) was one of the rolls they got. What a strange name. I guess it must be named after the chef in the restaurant or something. Listen to what this is made of: cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumber, DEEP FRIED IN TEMPURA BATTER. It is a cooked roll!
This is a small roll with only 6 thin pieces which reminds me more of the Korean Gimbab than the Japanese sushi rolls. Since it was deep fried, it is warm. So it felt weird eating a warm roll.
The Alaska Roll ($5.50) is nothing out of the ordinary. It is just like a California Roll except that it is also topped with a piece of salmon.
In the restaurant, they have a small chalk board describing the specials for the day. I had to encourage the boys to get this because they are more into known rolls like BC Roll, Alaska Roll, Dynamite Roll and things like that. They don’t want to order something that has an ingredient they did not like … like cucumber!
The day’s special is the Unagi Cream Cheese Roll ($9). They asked me what is unagi and when I told them, they pulled a face. It’s not that they don’t like eels or have never eaten them before. It is just that they know I am gonna force them to order this. 🙂
This roll looks better … but …
… on closer inspection, this is just a variation of the Alaska Roll. Instead of the salmon, this is the California Roll topped with unagi and roe.
The boys ate everything except for the last piece. It was so nice of them to say “It’s for you dad. You can have the last piece”. Such sweet boys.
I know them. They don’t want the last piece because it is “contaminated” with wasabi. They hate wasabi.
Miyabi accepts Visa and Mastercard above $20. So this is a nice change and one of the few restaurants these days that does not demand cash payment only. They also accepts Debit cards if above $10.
They use one of those wireless handheld card verification machine where they bring it to your table to process the payment. On the machine you can opt to leave a percentage of the tip. However, we realized that the percentage entered is calculated against the post-tax amount and not the pre-tax amount.
Miyabi was full house by the time we were ready to leave. I have a feeling that this restaurant will do well despite them not authentic Japanese restaurant. It is because they serve the kind of food in the right setting that will appeal to the resident in Richmond.