Blow torched sushi??

11.53am, Tuesday 23rd February, Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Morning folks, still a bit bleary eyed from a late finish last night – we were out at the Tramonto Restaurant at the River Rock Casino for dinner with the most die hard band of Australian wine fans – the Australian Wine Appreciation Society. Every time we come to town, we try and do something special with them, and that was what last night was all about. If you want to see what was on the plate…..check out my Twitter thing @barossasaint as the folks from AWAS had those dishes up and tweeted moments after they arrived on the table. I’ll get to that event later on, but for now, I just want to catch you up on yesterday’s visit to one of our Yalumba ‘fortresses’ here in Vancouver – Miku Restaurant – right on the Waterfront, sandwiched between the Vancouver Sun building and the Pan Pacific Hotel.

These folks do not muck around when it comes to working with the fresh fresh fresh best possible ingredients from land and sea, and go to great lengths to present a menu of outrageous flavour and texture combinations – beautifully – on specially crafted crockery. We’ve been lucky enough to have a wine on the list here for a long while – initially the Yalumba Y Series Viognier – fresh middleweight perfumed stone fruit aromatics with a slightly slippery palate – perfect for the Miku sashimi and ‘Aburi’ sushi world. I’m a massive fan of their House Superstar ‘Salmon Oshi Sushi’. This is spooky good stuff. OK – it starts with the way Miku handles their rice. They have a super secret method of preparing and cooking their rice for the sushi bar that is one of their ‘X’ factors! It’s soft but not gluggy, single grain, cling together stuff! The boys layer the rice and local BC sockeye salmon into a solid plastic ‘box’ , top it with their secret Miku Mayo – like sauce, sit another layer of the salmon on top, then ‘press’ the whole thing until the sushi ‘block’ forms and holds. Then they use those fabulous knives like painters pick up their brushes…..slice off the bite size sushi pieces, and out comes the blow torch! Across the top of the salmon, just enough to colour it up and warm that sauce down – capillary action – in amongst the rice grains, on goes the secret spice, topped with single slices of fresh jalapeño with a flourish! And yes! It absolutely tastes better than it sounds! And yes – our Viognier does fly nicely with it.

4.39pm Where did the day go? I started this before lunch, and am just getting it finished now. Any rate, that’s it for me, I have to get my stuff organised, as we’re off to the other side of town this evening for the Wine Australia ‘Savour’ opening night of the Vancouver Wine Festival event. We’re the feature wine producing country this year, so if you want to see Oz Wine in a nutshell, then Loungeworks on West 4th Ave will be the place to be. My mate the rock star winemaker for Wynns – Sue Hodder – has just landed in Vancouver – there’s going to be a stack of the Oz ‘wine-eratti’ there tonight, so it should be a top night out

So have a look at the pics below, I’ve done my best phone-cam food shots to catch the edible artistry going on every day at Miku Waterfront, as well as their newer sister sushi ship – Minami Yaletown.

See ya tomorrow, when the whole Vancouver Wine Festival starts to get serious

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