Dinner at Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

After a long day exploring the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and the surrounding Tempozan Harbor Village, we just headed back to the hotel. We were too exhausted to go out of our way to find some place to eat, so we just went to the restaurant in the basement of Nikko hotel Osaka (the hotel we were staying at), and it was conveniently located right next to the escalators, when you get out of metro station Shinsaibashi, exit 8. I am not sure if I got the name right in romaji (correct me if I am wrong), but this is the name: 美々卯 心斎橋店, Mimiu (which means beautiful rabbit). It is an udon specialty restaurant with many stores in Japan.

Dinner at Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi restaurant basement hotel Nikko hotel Osaka



From the outside, it looked like a very fancy place and I have a bias that hotel restaurants are always overpriced and not too good. But this restaurant really surprised me with their great food and I think it was only around 1,700 - 2,000 yen for one whole dinner set.

The dinner set I ate at Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi


Dinner set at Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

Of course, I ordered the dinner set with the most different kinds of food and side dishes. I just like to have small bites of everything. 

Appetizers

As appetizers, I got this trio with three thick slices of tuna sashimi, a piece of grilled salmon with a (citrus?) jelly and an onion-cucumber salad, and a small vermicelli-tofu skin salad (sorry, no close-up picture of this dish). In the picture above, you can also see a bit of the pickled vegetables (seriously love these!).

Dinner at Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi trio of appetizers
Dinner at Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi three thick slices of tuna sashimi fresh wasabi
Dinner at Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi appetizer a piece of grilled salmon with a citrus jelly onion cucumber salad

 Mains

As mains, I got a large plate of tempura with one large fried shrimp, a piece of broccoli (!), a piece of pumpkin, a piece of white fish, and a piece of eggplant. Very delicious and crunchy!

tempura shrimp egg plant fish broccoli Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

I also got a large bamboo bucket of udon, covered with a lot of tofu skin. Remember that I once said in a blog post that the piece of tofu skin was not enough? This time, I got more than plenty. Back then, I didn't realize that tofu skin (aka yuba) is one of Kyoto's specialty food. So, I wasn't really amazed seeing it (one of the reasons, I didn't make a close-up shot of the tofu skin salad). But even though I had eaten tofu skin many times before, it was one of the best tofu skin that I had tasted. I was equally impressed by the udon, which was chewy and full of flavor unlike the store-bought udon that I am used to.

tofu skin udon Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

I also got a large bowl of fried rice and it was super delicious!
 fried rice Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

 Dessert

It was the first time, I got the dessert together with the appetizers and mains and I had to resist digging in immediately (dessert maniac!). I don't know if it is because we got there late (around 19:00-20:00) and the kitchen was closing soon, or that they saw that we looked hungry and it was better to give it all to us at once, or that it was supposed to be this way. But I never felt so motivated to empty my plates as fast as I can, so that I enjoy the dessert. It was a green tea pudding with two cubes of jelly, a grape, and a dot of whipped cream with a soy bean powder & black sesame seeds mix sprinkled on top. Very nice!



green tea pudding dessert Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi


 What the others got

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and what other people order always look more delicious than the things I decided to get.

Have you seen this plate of sashimi? It is like a work of art. 
 sashimi tuna squid Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

Some side dishes were the same (like the grilled salmon, onion, and cucumber salad underneath), so I didn't bother taking another picture of it. But I did take some shots of the things that was different from mine. One of them got his cute turquoise bowl of chawanmushi (egg custard). I somehow never got this in any of the meal sets I ordered in Japan.



chawanmushi Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

While my bowl of udon had a very bland soup and I was supposed to dip it in the soy sauce bowl, which was included in the dinner set. One of the others got a bowl of udon simmered in soup (so fully absorbed with flavor) and a large piece of fried tofu pocket (kitsune udon). 


kitsune udon fried tofu pocket Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

He also got a plate of cold udon noodles (first time I have seen it prepared like this!), with sesame seeds, nori shreds, tofu skin, and spring onions. He got to try udon in two ways: hot and cold.


cold udon Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

Someone else got this large bowl of chicken-spring onions udon and the soup was the most delicious of all the udon we ordered that evening. The chicken pieces were large and tender and the udon still had a nice bite. 

Chicken spring onions udon Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi

 What do I think?

It is purely coincidental that we ended up at the restaurant Mimiu (美々卯) Shinsaibashi, but we got very lucky. I think it was the best meal I had during that trip. We got to try bits and pieces of what the Kansai region had to offer food wise and I got to enjoy many of the small side dishes that I love so much. We were also able to try udon prepared in four different ways and they were all delicious in their own way. The good part was that it wasn't that expensive at all. I was very full and every little thing on the table tasted amazing. I am definitely coming back one day or I will visit one of their other restaurants in Japan.   



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