Sunday, 30/07/2023 10:31

Mirai Sushi: a wonderful neighbourhood dining venue

NEON-LIT: At Mirai sushi, a full range of sushi, sashimi and a large variety of Japanese food are available. VNS Photos Mỹ Hà

by Nguyễn Mỹ Hà

It's mid-summer now, and it's everyone's dream to have a cool and peaceful dinner in a dining room with air-con, tasting fresh sashimi on ice, perhaps rounded off with a refreshing ice-cream. We realised that dream recently at Mirai Sushi & Sake in Hà Nội's southwestern district of Cầu Giấy.

For those mainly familiar with the city's four central districts of Hoàn Kiếm, Ba Đình, Hai Bà Trưng and Đống Đa, Cầu Giấy seems far-flung and a long way to go. 

Over the past 20 years, Cầu Giấy has grown to become a new and bustling inner-city district, where college campuses, new office buildings as well as residential complexes have sprung up fast. It's interesting to visit and see how it has changed.

REFRESHING: Fresh seaweed salad is always a knock out in this weather. 

Mirai Sushi was spacious for a Japanese food joint. Those you see in other areas are usually located in small venues, or made smaller to resemble tiny shops in Japan; some have private dining rooms, dim lights and separate sections. Walking in a large space with more than 20 tables made me briefly check again to make sure we're in the right place. 

We arrived early for dining time, and found later joined with only a few other tables later on. The menu boasted a long list of Japanese dishes, but we somehow stuck to what we try every time we go to a Japanese place. 

SUPER FRESH: An assorted sashimi platter satisfies almost any taste buds

First we had the fresh seaweed salad (VNĐ105,000), a nice and soft starter to open our palates. Although Việt Nam has a long coastline and our gastronomy has been nurtured by seafood, we know of and eat little seaweed. The most popular dish I can think of is the white clear jelly, usually consumed in a sweet broth in summer. Seaweed salads or even the simple seaweed egg soup are unheard of. Seaweed is a valuable source of minerals if you can take it in your regular daily meals. 

Next we ordered a mixed sashimi platter of salmon, tuna, octopus and Japanese herring with eggs and surf clam (VNĐ155,000-165,000 per fish).

JAPANESE CLASSIC: The assorted sushi plate is a pleasure and inviting dish to try.

Next came a plate of assorted sushi (six flavours) (VNĐ205,000). We also waited for the chicken knuckles fries, but they didn't meet our expectations, which was a surprise as this is a simple dish to make and is usually delicious.

As much as we like Japanese sashimi and sushi, one of our diners did not want to touch anything raw nor any seafood. A simple steak and chips (VNĐ300,000) was ordered to be consumed with a bowl of white rice. Unlike the long thin chips we are used to having from KFC, these were chopped to half the length and tasted really delicious. 

ALTERNATIVE OPTION: Steak and mini chips is a good choice for those who do not like raw fish. 

Next we had a grilled fish Pacific saury with soy sauce. It was such a simple dish, just some black sesame on top of white rice and fish dipped in soy sauce. 

Finally, we ordered a hotpot to be cooked with a salmon head (VNĐ300,000). It was a small hot pot but enough for us. The sour soup was very soothing and fulfilling: fresh vegetables, mushrooms, bean curd, mustard greens and fresh salmon pieces. The fresh rice noodles added the final carbs we needed for our dining experience. 

The service was good, and the waiter was very attentive, always coming to check on us whenever we needed him.

Mirai uses raw ceramics for their tableware, which gave us a very authentic Japanese dining experience. Though it must be quite hard work for the waiters as they are all very heavy and hard on the arms and shoulders. The other concern that worried us most was the portable gas cooker we had on the table. We'd rather have plastic tableware and a safe electric cooker on our table. 

We all finally gave a sigh of relief when the hotpot was taken away and all of us sat back and relaxed with some scoops of green tea ice cream. It was a peaceful and delicious dining experience that we want to repeat sometime soon. VNS

Mirai Sushi & Sake

Address: 4 Hoàng Đạo Thúy Street , UDIC Complex, Trung Hòa Ward, Cầu Giấy Dist. Hà Nội

Tel: 097 258 7558

Comment: Fresh sushi and sashimi with delicious hotpot and green tea ice cream

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