Mister Miyagi, also known as simply Miyagi, is a Japanese inspired gem that you'll find amongst the bustling independents of Liverpool's Bold Street. Always keen to track down an Asian restaurant whilst on my UK travels, the same name kept coming up upon asking for Liverpool Twitter recommendations. With a menu boasting the likes of steamed buns, sushi and gyoza, I knew that I had to try it out. It was a tough choice decided what Oriental treats to choose from this Japanese restaurant's menu, but someone had to do it.
The interior is moody and effortlessly cool, with fresh plants, large mirrors and exposed brick making up the basics. Subtle hints of the Orient came in the form of lantern style lights and Asian inspired murals embellishing the walls.
Upstairs the bright, colourful lighting, anime and Japanese newspapers gave an air of a lively Tokyo bar. So I could at least pretend I'd been to Japan, if only just for a second.
We began by sharing the Cali rolls, which were filled with raw sushi grade salmon and avocado and topped with roe. These were beautifully presented alongside fresh wasabi that the waitress grated at the table. I'd never had fresh wasabi like this before and since I recently found out a lot of high street wasabi is horseradish dyed green, it was nice to see the freshness and origin. Although there were annoyingly three to share between two, the rolls were well filled, delicious and wholeheartedly enjoyed.
The star of the show was definitely the pork belly, which came with two steamed buns. We couldn't believe the generous and filling portion size, which meant we ordered a couple more hirata buns (£1.95 for two). There were just so many elements of texture and flavour that were going on - I even enjoyed the sharp pickled pear and even more so the honey mustard miso. The ulimate Asian twist on the British hog roast pork and apple cob.
Like I said, the pancakes were on the recommendation of the waitress and she wasn't wrong. Such a fab seafood and meat medley of soft scallops and crisp pancetta, which came with Mr M's red sauce and spicy bonito flakes. The duck gyozas were outstanding too - although again came out as an odd number. I get that things looked prettier in 3s and 5s, but c'mon, what about sharing? Luckily I got an extra Cali roll for giving up that extra gyoza. Good deal I say.
My new favourite thing is having a cocktail instead of dessert. Although don't hold me to that, I wouldn't say no to both.
As expected, they all had some fantastic Japanese influences; including Matcha Grasshopper with matcha green tea and Cobra Kai Ball with Nikka whiskey. We went for the Miygroni and Sensai Sour, both at £7.50. As the name suggests, this is an inspired version of a Negroni which features Portobello gin, Aperol, plum sake and Cocci rosso vermouth. My Sensai Sour was a version of an Amaretto Sour, which also muddled in fresh yuzu juice, cranberry juice plum sake and egg white.
What a fantastic end to a well received meal. I will be back - and the hirata buns will be all mine!
Have you ever been to Miyagi's? What is your favourite place for Japanese food and sushi in Liverpool?
Note: We paid for our meal and they did not know I was reviewing the experience.