Monday, April 3, 2017

Miyabi Sushi & Japanese Grill Bar Gets a Thumbs Up!

Dear readers,

I don't know about you, but I love all sorts of sushi and sashimi and can easily eat it every day! However, my love affair with these delectable morsels of raw fish got off to a rocky start! I remember going to some of the best Japanese restaurants in NYC when I lived there and wouldn't touch the stuff and opted to eat the "cooked" Japanese delights. Funny story... my attitude changed after consuming way to many "depth chargers" (dropping a shot of hot sake into a glass of ice cold Sapporo Japanese beer) to build up my nerve to eat raw fish at Fujiyamama (now closed) on the Upper East Side and I haven't looked back since!

There is a number of very good Japanese restaurants and other restaurants with sushi on the menu in Istanbul, but compared to other parts of the world, it is pricier to go as often as I'd like to be quite honest.

I finally went to Miyabi Sushi & Japanese Grill Bar which is a hop, skip and jump from my apartment and located in Akatlar to attend a Chaine des Rotisseurs dinner on March 22nd. 

I have been a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, (an International Association of Gastronomy established in 80 countries worldwide) since 2009 and now hold the title "Officier du Baillage de Turquie" as a "non-professional" member. 

Normally our Chaine dinners are more formal and are organized at fine dining establishments with elaborate service and presentation, but for the past year, dinners are also organized at more "informal" dining establishments with less elaborate themes... like Miyabi, where we were served a very wide variety of Japanese treats to share,which were all incredibly delicious and yummy! I was definitely in sushi/sashimi and more heaven! 

Chaine des Rottisseurs Dinner @Miyabi Sushi & Japanese Grill Bar

Miyabi (which means elegance, refinement in modern Japanese) is an unpretentious modestly sized typical Japanese restaurant with a minimalist decor and indoor and outdoor dining areas (with a sliding roof closed during cooler weather).

Miyabi Sushi & Japanese Grill Bar (indoor dining area) 

Miyabi Sushi & Japanese Grill Bar (indoor dining area)

Miyabi Sushi & Japanese Grill Bar (outdoor dining area)

Miyabi Sushi & Japanese Grill Bar (outdoor dining area)
Open since 2014, the owners of Miyabi are not new to the scene and had opened one of the first "chi-chi" and trendy Japanese restaurants in Istanbul called Mori about 20 years ago... it eventually closed for a variety of reasons, but was a place I went quite often with my friends and family.

If I had gone to Miyabi with friends, I wouldn't have been fortunate enough to try all the different variety of dishes served to us during our Chaine dinner! It would not have been possible to eat all that food, but since the concept of the evening was "sharing", I literally went to town and tried everything we were served, but in small portions.

Our meal started with a selection of "Miso Soup", "Suzuki Carpaccio", "Yaki Gyoza", "Black Tiger Shrimp Tempura", "Rainbow Salad" and "Maguro Tartar"...

Miso Soup @Miyabi Sushi

Rainbow Salad @Miyabi Sushi

Maguro (Tuna) Tartar @Miyabi Sushi

Black Tiger Shrimp Tempura @Miyabi Sushi

Suzuki (Seabass) Carpaccio @Miyabi Sushi
What can I say! It was a wonderful opening! The Miso Soup was a little too salty for my taste (not a fan of salt at all), but everything else was definitely mouthwatering and very fresh!

Our next courses were a selection of "Sashimi" (Maguro, Sake & Suzuki) ... in other words tuna, salmon and seabass; and "Nigiri" (Maguro, Sake, Ebi & Unagi) ... or tuna, salmon, shrimp and eel. 

Nigiri @Miyabi Sushi
I didn't get a chance to take a photo of the sashimi plate unfortunately, because it was "gone" by the time I could take a picture! My tablemates and I were very competitive and not very coy and shamelessly and aggressively attacked the food with chopsticks in hand! 

Next up... sushi rolls!
Sushi Rolls @ Miyabi Sushi
The sushi rolls served were called "Yummy Yummy"(spicy scallops, crab & shrimp); "Salmon Ultra"; Rock'n Roll" (salmon tartar & eel); and "Ninja" (spicy crispy shrimp & tuna). These rolls are listed under "Chef's Rolls" on their menu and the combination of the fish and other ingredients were amazing and just burst in your mouth! Although I had eaten so much already, I could have easily finished this platter by myself (we were served 2 platters for each 4 people at table).

Now... time for our main course which was "Beef Teppanyaki", "Chicken Teppanyaki" and "Yasai Udon Noodles"

Beef Teppanyaki @Miyabi Sushi
To be honest, I'm not crazy about "cooked" Japanese cuisine. Is it good? Of course it is! The meat was seasoned properly and moist and the vegetables just right and al dente. I don't eat chicken, so I can't comment on the quality and also did enjoy the Udon Noodles. So, feel free to go to Miyabi with your "non-sushi" eating friends because they too will have a lovely meal.

Last but not least... it was time for the "classic" Japanese dessert... green tea ice cream!
Green Tea Ice Cream @Miyabi Sushi
Since I love green tea (drink 2 cups a day) and ice cream... this was definitely a win win dessert for me!

What an incredible meal we had at Miyabi Sushi & Japanese Grill Bar that I can kick myself for not going earlier... once the weather warms up a bit more, I look forward to going for lunch or dinner and sit outside and soak up some rays! 

Of course I enjoyed all these dishes with hot sake and ice cold Sapporo Japanese Beer... but this time, I had them separately and didn't make "depth chargers", so I was standing tall at the end of the dinner and got home safe and sound!

Stay well,

Miyabi Sushi & Japanese Grill Bar
Zeytinoğlu Caddesi, Yaren Sokak No. 6/14
Akatlar, Istanbul
Tel: (0212) 352 0222

Reservations are recommended. Take-out & Catering Services available.