As soon as we entered Miraku, we were greeted by the owner, Jing, whose father is a fish distributor and sells to over 200 restaurants in the area, so we knew right away that evening’s fish would undoubtedly be fresh.
The restaurant’s interior is amazing. Miraku takes after Izakaya, a Japanese style tavern.
Our meal started with a triple appetizer platter. There was Fugu Age — Atlantic blowfish in a wheat batter. It looks like batter-fried shrimp and, like shrimp, partners well with a red horse radish sauce. Chicken Tsukune, ground chicken in a thick sausage casing, served on a thin stick skewer, was like biting into a plump bratwurst, with a soft interior. No, you can’t eat just one. Toro Kakuni, tuna belly, not at all salty, but completely fresh. Also, a plate of Hourensou Gomaae, a tasty spinach with sesame dressing, sliced to look like sea weed salad, but without the deep ocean taste. If only all health food could be as good as that.
Next came a quadruple appetizer platter. Spicy albacore tuna with thin-sliced, crispy, fried onions and garlic butter. The albacore is a pleasing base for the tasty onions, and the garlic butter makes for an especially rich taste. Cajun Salmon Tataki came with a salsa that was a tasty mix of finely-diced vegetables and a sauce that brought it all together. Tuna Tataki had a very light taste. Hirame Crudo, fluke wrapped around radish sprouts, also had a light taste. Nothing fishy in the taste of these fish specialties.
Then we had some sushi specialties. Everything Bagel, made with smoked salmon that somehow resembled a Canadian bacon taste, and included a pronounced scallion cream cheese. Bollywood, with spicy tuna and avocado, came with a somewhat inhibited curry sauce. Italia, a complete pleasure, brought the best out in mozzarella, which sandwiched salmon and jalapeno, atop a rice bed. Folks, this was the pinnacle of food design. You absolutely have to try this, it’s so good!
For the less adventurous, we had a vegetable sushi platter. A mixed vegetable roll seemed to be an obligatory entry taken over by a hard carrot center, and the nimblest dexterity could not keep this roll in one piece. The Evergreen roll, built around sweet, roasted red pepper, with avocado and cabbage that felt like cucumber, was roundly flavorful with a healthy kicker offered by the cilantro.
To change the pace came Kimchi Beef Somen, a dark broth filled with angel-hair-like buckwheat noodles, thin sliced ribeye and, to bring it together with a moderately spicy, wonderful taste, delicious pickled cabbage. The noodles were light as air and each spoonful of this soup tasted better than the next. I should have taken home a thermos full.
To complete our meal, we were treated to cheese steak maki, made with provolone and thin-sliced beef. I’ve had the All American cheese steak hero sandwich in the deep south. It’s deeply satisfying but leaves the stomach feeling like lead. This maki sushi had all the bang-up taste of the real thing, but felt light, and without the cheap cheese aftertaste.
31 South Middle Neck Road, Great Neck
Lunch Monday thru Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Diner Sunday to Thursday 5:30 to 10 p.