Lunch of the Month: Miyabi 9

— By Design Furniture & Interior Design presents dsmDining —

Above: Tempura temptation: The veggies’ fried coating is described as “heavenly—generously dappled yet delicately light and crisp.”

By Wini Moranville

When you go to Miyabi 9 for lunch, it’s tempting to order one of the lunch specials. After all, when you only have an hour—including getting there and back—how much time do you have to poke around the extensive menu? At a place you trust, having someone else choose the selection isn’t a bad way to go.

Certainly, I was quite pleased with the recent Sushi Lunch Special I ordered; the tuna, salmon, yellowtail and shrimp nigiri all arrived as bright, firm, and sparkly fresh as you’d expect at our city’s premier sushi spot.

But when we augmented that special with some well-chosen appetizers, lunch wasn’t just tasty, but life-enhancing—the kind celebratory break in the day I only wish more lunchtimes out could be.

To get the most from Miyabi 9 at lunch, I suggest heading here with at least three diners, preferably four, and ordering a smorgasbord of delights. That way you can sample much, without over-ordering. Insist on the veggie tempura, and forget any predictable, lackluster versions you’ve ever had. Not only did our recent mix include unexpected finds such as okra, Japanese lotus and kohlrabi (alongside more classic squash and green beans), but the fried coating was heavenly—generously dappled yet delicately light and crisp. Superior frymanship was also notable in the crisp, never-heavy egg rolls. Also snag an order of steamed shrimp dumplings—moist, lightly chewy morsels with some serious shrimp flavor.

Then order enough nigiri (rice topped with fish) to go around. Personal favorites include salmon caviar—those little bright orange bubbles popping salty-funky flavor, as well as the pristine tuna and yellowtail. I also find the green mussels-topped nigiri irresistible.

For dessert, split some Mochi Ice (ice cream encased in a sweet rice shell), and be on your (very) merry way.

Miyabi 9 is at 512 E. Grand Ave.; 288-8885;

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

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