Our destination is a little-known establishment called "Mihana". It is billed as a "Dining and Sake Bar", which is right up my alley because sake is my favourite alcoholic drink. Yes, it even beats champagne!
The decor is slick but laid back, with jazz music in the background. I feel like I was in Tokyo.
Mihana offers a series of "Today's home style dishes", which are on display at the counter. I was too shy to take a photo of the display, I can guarantee you that they look good.
We ordered two dishes from the display. I would have ordered more but Mr Curious is not a fan of cooked fish nor internal organs.
This is the simmered rice cake with fried bean curd and fish cake.
The rice cake is the puff at the top left. It has the most interesting texture - slightly gooey like porridge; Mr Curious describes it as glutinous. I can't really describe its taste, it is ... brothy? The fishball is very fishy (in a good way - full of flavours) and I love radishes. Superior comfort food.
We also ordered deep fried chicken wings in teriyaki sauce. The sauce is light and mixed with honey. Tasty.
They also have daily specials. This is the highlight of the night.
Sliced rare wagyu beef with citrus soy sauce. The dish came with green onions, carrot and radish puree, and fried cameralised onion at the bottom. The beef melts in the mouth and the sauce is so refreshing. Can you believe this is only $7?
The eel sushi is beautiful. The eel is not drowned in sweet soy sauce so the natural flavours of the eel really comes out.
The yakitori is yum, the grilled pork with mayo is nice but not as good.
This is a highlight for Mr Curious. Spring rolls with whole prawns. The waitress explained that the rolls are meant to resemble witch's fingers. The prawn is very fresh and the pastry is fried perfectly.
I love the soft-shelled crab salad. I was dying for some greens so the salad was very welcomed, and the soft-shelled crab is crispy and meaty.
I just realised that I haven't shown you the sake yet. We ordered a tasting plate each, with 3x60ml glasses of sake.
The piece of paper is a taste note for each sake. They were all delicious but very different in character. And the taste of the sake changes completely when we have it with food. It is quite magical. Sorry I am no good at describing sake, you just have to try it for yourself! They have 4 pages of sake to choose from.
Now back to food. After a brief break we ordered two more dishes.
Crispy salmon tuna roll with super fresh tuna. Their ginger pickles are awesome.
Cold soba with dipping sauce. The little dish has spring onions, sesame, pureed radish and wasabi. I really like the kick from the wasabi. In fact I took some of the leftover wasabi from the sushi and added a small dollop with each mouthful. The soba has great texture and it was a nice end to the savoury dishes.
We were pretty full by then but I really wanted some dessert. I asked Mr Curious to share one with me but he wanted one for himself!
I had a traditional Japanese sponge cake with vanilla ice cream and red beans. The sponge cake is honey flavoured and very light, which is how I like my (non-chocolate) cakes.
Mr Curious had vanilla ice cream wrapped in soft pastry, with green tea ice cream and red beans. I tried both the pastry and the green tea ice cream and I approve.
With two very full and fulfilled stomaches, Mr Curious and I asked for the bill and it was under $150! Bargain.
It is such a great find (Mr Curious and I came across it when we were walking around Crows Nest after dinner one night). I have never seen it mentioned anywhere so I'm going to do my part to promote it.
So if you are looking for a fun evening with great food and drinks, give Mihana a try. I promise you won't regret it.
Mihana Dining and Sake Bar
32 Falcon Street
(02) 9901 3895
P.S. The first time we came here we ordered a dish described as "marinaded octopus". We were expecting BBQ octopus but they were raw! So double check with the waitresses if you are are not sure how a dish is prepared. For the record it was delicious :-D