What’s on the menu at Japanese restaurant Minami in Yaletown?

Minami is considered one of the best spots in Vancouver for its elegant sushi and sashimi and contemporary seasonal Japanese dishes, and to mark its tenth anniversary, the restaurant is leaning into surf and turf with a refreshed menu that has been launched August 16.

Now, first off, don’t panic: nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to take away Minami’s signature aburi sushi selections.

The pressed and burnt sushi pieces first served by big brother Miku when it debuted in Vancouver in 2008 will remain a cornerstone of the Minami menu, as will several high-end sushi and sashimi dishes.

In fact, since the sushi is so typically Minami, the restaurant ensures that the sushi remains a star offering. Playing to her strengths, Minami dialed up the sushi menu with some bold new options. Among the new rolls are the Yaletown Roll with hamachi (Japanese series), octopus, cucumber, tobiko and basil and a Mosaic Futomaki with chutoro (medium-fat tuna), radish, kanpyo, avocado, mushroom, cucumber, salmon roe and leaf of shiso.

There are also new Tokyo-style sushi platters, including edomae nigiri sets and premium sashimi sets with local fish, Ocean Wise, and fish imported directly from Japan. To say the premium sashimi set is a hit is the understatement of the decade; The magnificent presentation of Minami ensures a sensational effect on the table and the beautiful pieces of sashimi please not only the eyes but also the palate.

Emblematic of Vancouver and Japan’s shared geography of offering bounty by land and sea, Minami’s new menu features wagyu, Japanese beef. Specifically, Minami is carving out a niche as Vancouver’s premier destination for tasting Iwate A5 Wagyu, Japan’s most award-winning beef. Premium meat is also flown in and sold to ambitious home cooks at Aburi Market, Japan’s specialty market concept that got its start in the pandemic era in Minami’s private dining hall ( and has since expanded to include a flagship standalone store at Ambleside in West Vancouver.

Where’s the beef? Iwate A5 Wagyu in the spotlight

Back in Minami’s dining room, customers can now order from what the restaurant says is one of the biggest wagyu menus in town. Minami’s head chef, Woo Jin Kim, is behind the selection of mouth-watering cuts and side dishes. Look for a melt-in-your-mouth carpaccio made with slices of Iwate wagyu loin and served with marinated wasabi, capers, arugula, grana padano and shallot. An additional preparation available is Iwate wagyu sushi, served nigiri style. You can also cook the Iwate wagyu strip loin or tenderloin to your liking and serve it with a whiskey pepper jus and seasonal vegetables; the meat is fork tender and absolutely succulent.

While sushi and wagyu have become focal points for Minami, the menu continues to feature an array of plates that highlight other seafood preparations (such as Aburi Lobster Truffle Miku Sauce) and veggies (like baked cauliflower with miso hash sauce and yuzu tofu that will have you wanting to scrape every last drop out of the dish).

As always, the cocktail and drink options as well as the desserts (thanks to pastry chef Nikki Tam) make adding these delicious extras to a meal at Minami always worth it. It’s hard not to get the restaurant’s Green Tea Opera dessert, rightly so, but Tam’s seasonal offerings make the most of the best with fleeting availability.

What’s also great about Minami is that you can settle in for a treat worthy of a special occasion – and the bill to go with it – or show up for Happy Hour to experience the same premium quality with more affordable prices. In that regard, Minami’s excellent lunches and chef’s tasting menu for dinner give guests more ways to sample a curated range of what the restaurant can do.

The beautiful and large new Mosaic Futomaki includes chutoro, radish, kanpyo, avocado, mushroom, cucumber, salmon roe and shiso leaf. Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver is awesome

“This new menu is Minami’s biggest change since ten years ago. Our customers love our sushi and they love our steaks too, so we’ve upgraded both categories with the best ingredients,” explained Seigo Nakamura, Founder and CEO of Aburi Restaurants Canada. “The team has been hard at work on this new menu for a few months now, and I can’t wait for our guests to try it out and tell us what they think.”

Minami is located at 1118 Mainland St and is open Tuesday through Sunday, for lunch, appetizers, and dinner. Guests can make reservations online or by calling 604-685-8080.

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