Sunday, November 15, 2009

Miya's Sushi, New Haven

Last Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to visit Miya's Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut during New Haven Restaurant Week. It was a two hour drive, but so worth it.

New Haven's first sushi restaurant, chef Bun Lai's mother opened Miya's in 1982. But when you walk into Miya's today, it's clear you're in Bun's territory. If Miya's were a frat house, Bun Lai would be the president. If it were a rock concert, Bun would be the lead singer. His big personality bubbles over into every facet of the restaurant. Delicious details after the jump.

The Restaurant Week tasting menu consisted of soup, 9 of Bun's signature "weird sushi" rolls and dessert sushi to top it off. The soup was pumpkin miso - a beautiful combination because the pumpkin adds a richness to the normally delicate miso.
Then there was the sushi.

It was sushi as far as the eye could see! In combinations like...

Kiss the Smiling Piggie Roll: Sweet potato, mango chutney and pine nuts.
Ride the Wild Donkey Roll: Shrimp, papaya, apricots and brie in a whole grain, tempura fried roll.
Hot Headed Cowgirl Roll: Coconut covered roll of avocado, cream cheese, papaya, burdock and hot pepper.

Bun is unafraid of combining flavors and ingredients that you would never combine in sushi form. I have to say, there were hits and misses - but more hits by far.

Anna, my dining companion, was a pretty good barometer for what was working. If she wasn't a fan of a particular roll, she would say "Hmm. Let's disect this and see what's inside."

think my threshold for interesting combinations might have been a bit higher. My favorite rolls included the Smiling Piggie, from above, as well as the Nine Spice Sashimi, seasoned with Chinse firecracker sake, citrus and spices.

This sushi bacchanalia was capped off with a final flourish - the dessert roll, called the Seven Deadly Sushi.

Banana, peanut butter, chocolate and strawberries were rolled in rice, deep fried and paired with homemade rose petal ice cream.

Miya's Sushi was an adventure for the palate, hosted by a bizarre and charasmatic tour guide. I would highly recommend taking the trip to New Haven to check it out.

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