Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Miya's Sushi

Miya's Sushi - 68 Howe Street, New Haven, CT (Japanese/Ethnic Fusion) (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!)

Miya's Sushi has been on my go-to list for quite some time. Ever since that fateful day that my husband brought home the menu - a hefty sized booklet, marked by the largest list of veggie sushi that ever I'd seen - as well as myriad seafood options, appetizers, colorfully named sake cocktails...and even a dessert roll called "seven deadly sushi" (a deep fried, one bited wonder made with banana, peanut butter, blueberries, chocolate and ice cream.) Mixing sushi roll philosophy with unexpected flavors, Miya's offerings include ingredients such as Ethiopean berebere sauce and injera, mango chutney and miso/avocado. (Okay, not all in the same maki roll. Now that would be crazy!) Over 15 pages long, the menu is filled with wonderfully creative names, such as Rikki Tikki and Voompa Rolls - and even includes footnotes in the back, explaining the background of some of the (more) exotic dishes on the list.

Recently, we took the plunge - braving both traffic and bad weather for the trip out to New Haven. Arriving 10 minutes late on the reservation, we settled down at the table - more than ready for a taste of the menu, and a celebratory birthday dinner. (Whatever you do, don't ask how old.) Needless to say, it was worth it.

As is the natural way of such things, drinks came first...a wonderful sampler of seasoned sakes, including Dragon Lady (with ginger, lemongrass and honey), Emerald Witches Lips (infused with green pinecone) and Ultraviolet Kisses (ume sake, best distinguished by it's overwhelming salt flavor, somewhat reminiscent of...um, never mind.) But best of all, there was Chinese Firecracker Sake - made with citrus and hot chili pepper - a pinkish red drink hotter than cinnamon gum, with a wonderfully addictive burn (winning it an immediate place in my list of all-time favorite drinks.)

And then there was dinner. With so many options to choose from, we feared missing out and chose two bleu plate specials - featuring seven seafood rolls and twelve assorted veggie bites (including options such as killer faux squid, ginger eggplant teriyaki roll, and the hot-headed cowgirl roll (a coconut covered roll made with cream cheese, papaya, and burdock.) Though there were definitely favorites, the meal didn't disappoint, filling us both to bursting. (My only regret - that the rolls and drinks weren't individually labelled, making it difficult to identify or remember the name of each item. ) We even chatted with chef Bun Lai - son of the eponymous Miya. Creative and energetic, Bun was happy to discuss the menu...even offering to veganize the veggie rolls, where needed.

We left Miya's happy - determined to come back for samples of rolls that we had not tried.
Though somewhat high in price, the food was clearly worth the cost* (even for me, the queen of cheap.) A small price to pay for a night of true Asian fusion - done *right* for a change (unlike most NYC sites, which pretend to diversity and fail miserably.) As for the drive to New Haven - not so bad, given the payoff. And if it keeps crowds away from my seat at the table, all the better. Conneticut, here I come.

* Prices at Miya's do run steep, with rolls costing between $3 - $15. Normal for NYC...but worthy of note, for those on a budget.

** Miya's - Part Two: In the beginning of October, we ventured to Miya's yet again - introducing a friend from Boston to the fusion world of Miya's Sushi. This time around, I have to say that I didn't find the rolls *all* that intriguing. Creative, yes. Filling? Definitely. But just a tad bit bland...paling in comparison to Sushi Time's Ume Crunch Rolls (perhaps my all time favorite, located conveniently in mid-town Manhattan.) But my friend loved the dinner, and the Firecracker Sake still proved to be specular. And Bun? He's still the absolute best. So if you're in the area, give Miya's Sushi a shot, and decide for yourself. :)

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