Our fascination with Miya’s Sushi and Chef Bun Lai began when we had our first bites of their sushi at The Whole Hog fundraiser for the non-profit Wholesome Wave. Bun’s uniquely awesome personality really came through when he talked to us about harvesting his own seaweed and how everything in a sushi roll was made. We could tell that he had a deep passion for food and keeping things local, which is exactly what made us want to travel into New Haven to check out Miya’s.
It was finally when we were contacted about Bun Lai and Miya’s Sushi being on a new TV show that we got our butts in gear and headed out to New Haven. Plus, it was the perfect place to celebrate Dan’s birthday! We know that New Haven can seem so far away, especially when you’re in the western part of Connecticut, but it’s really worth the trip!
As we sat down, we learned from our waitress about some basics of Miya’s. First off, she told us that the staff are trained divers and they were going on a diving trip the following day to get seafood for their rolls and dishes. The DIY philosophy also comes through when they served us their homemade low sodium soy sauce and their homemade ginger that is just de-vine.
Our strategy was to order lots and lots of rolls so that we could try as many flavors and combinations as possible. This worked out well because most rolls were sliced into four pieces, not an overwhelming amount at all. We also HAD to order a few drinks because they were so incredibly unique. And, despite all the food and drinks that we ordered, we still ended up spending a bit less than we would at other “comparable” sushi joints. We say comparable because, well, it’s hard to compare anything to Miya’s anymore after eating there. Dan felt very zen, so he allowed his poetic side to reign and compose haikus (five-seven-five syllables) for each roll.
Firecracker Sake and Bonobo Juice
Sake with pepper,
not too sweet or too spicy,
chilled and refreshing
Infused at Miya’s Sushi, this drink was served with a pepper, taunting you in the glass. It was definitely spicy, but not overpowering at all. It was slightly sweet and had a mild honey and lemon taste. Look, we have never liked sake, but we’d drink these all the time. They serve this room temp, but it’s still refreshing. The Bonobo Juice was just like the Firecracker, but colder, bubbly, and very refreshing.
Italian Stallion and Kiss the Smiling Piggie
Kiss the Smiling Piggie: Sweet potato, apple chutney, pine nuts, and wasabi
Fried sweet potato,
the crunch of the pignola:
a beautiful start
The sweet potato (don’t forget that Bun Lai created sweet potato rolls) was great while the pignola (pine nuts) added a crunch and a nice texture.
Italian Stallion: Calamari (purse seine net, Rhode Island, Seafood Watch – Best Choice), marscapone cheese, pistachios, and orange marmalade
the citrusy marmelade,
They come together
in a zen-like unison:
Warm Grapes Falling on a Happy Head: A grape leaf wrapped roll of eggplant, avocado, pickled radish, scallions, and hot pepper. Drizzled with olive oil.
Grape leaves gathered round,
so delicate and crunchy.
Dolmas on a roll.
Delicate, slight crunch. Like eating a grape leave. Wow.
The Roll of Milk + Honey and Howe Street Block Party
Howe Street Block Party: Falafel, avocado, and asparagus, topped with roasted eggplant, and wilted greens, drizzled with champagne tahini
creamy champagne tahini
Eggplant, sliced so thin,
asparagus adding bite:
tribute to Mamoun’s.
There was a zestiness to the falafel. A bit spicy. The tahini is amazing and added a creaminess to the dish alongside the avocado. The asparagus added crunch. The eggplant, sliced so thin, acted as the roll wrapper.
The Roll of Milk + Honey: Figs, dates, raisins, goat cheese, roasted barley, pomegranate, cinnamon, spicy red pepper, honey, pistachio, extra virgin olive oil, falafel
The fig comes alive,
pistachios give contrast.
The fig is flavor forward. The pistachios give a nice contrast. You get hints of pomegranate, too.
A coconut covered roll of fried catfish (farmed, Mississippi, Seafood Watch – Best Choice), sweet potato, avocado, cream cheese, papaya, burdock, hot sauce (of course)
Burdock, so subtle.
Catfish, cooked so perfectly.
Weird, but oh so great.
The burdock is very subtle and has a similar consistency to okra. The catfish was cooked perfectly. Totally weird roll, but totally works.
Longfin squid (wild, purse seine net, Rhode Island, Seafood Watch – Best Choice) and broccoli rolled in grains, simmered in fruity Spanish white wine (Moscatal de Valecia) and seafood stock, then tossed in squid ink
Squid ink: black as night.
Overpowering at first,
flavors then settle.
tempura fried brocoli,
alive with soy sauce.
At first, the squid ink seems overpowering. Soon, it settles down, then you get the smooth calamari and the tempura fried broccoli. The roll comes alive and explodes with some of their homemade soy sauce.
Seven Deadly Sushi
A sinfully delicious roll of banana, peanut butter, strawberries, chocolate, and homemade, hand-pounded mochi, topped with baby scoops of rose petal ice cream – eaten in one bite using your fingers
Warm and so gooey,
fruit, pbj, chocolate.
Rose petal ice cream.
The base of this dessert was warm and gooey. The ice cream is delicate. The fruit, chocolate, and pbj are amazing together.
Address: 68 Howe Street
New Haven, CT
This article was originally published on OmNomCT.