Miro Kaimuki

Dinner – Friday, April 15, 2022

I’ve had my eye on Miro since they opened – when Chris Kajioka and Mourad Lahlou partner up, expectations are high. We finally made our first visit back in February, but unfortunately Chris was off-island during that trip and we missed each other. When we found ourselves returning to Honolulu, I knew another reservation was in order – and given that Miro changes its menu monthly, we knew we’d be getting a whole new set of dishes. If you read to the end, you’ll see just how great this meal turned out to be.

Opening snacks
The kitchen came out swinging with a really strong trio: (i) Uni, crispy taro cake; (ii) ahi, toasted brioche; (iii) caviar, maple gel. Definitely rich, and no holds barred.

Little gem lettuce, falafel crumble
Beet jam, leek aioli, crême fraiche

Smoked potato foam
Horseradish and mustard seed relish, spiralized potato, smoked trout roe

Fantastic thickness on the potato foam, which played nicely against the surprisingly mild horseradish at the bottom of the bowl. Crispy strings of potato provided textural contrast. A delicious course, although I’d have been satisfied with ~2/3 the amount.

Sourdough, salted butter, za’atar

Crab agnolotti, citrus butter
Someone in the kitchen has good pasta hands – this is the second version of their agnolotti that we’ve tried (the first time was truffle and parmesan), and both iterations have been perfectly cooked and sauced. Pasta does seem a little out of place on this menu, but to be honest, if you’re making it this well, show it off!

Big Glory Bay salmon
Peas, pickled ramps, lentils, spinach purée

Donabe of uni, trout roe and nodoguro
Flank steak, washugyu flatiron and Miyazaki A5 wagyu

We had our minds blown by the sheer amount of explosive flavour that Chris was able to pack into the donabe – words fail me. No surprise that this was my favourite dish of the night, and there was so much that we even got leftovers. The tasting of beef was quite illuminating, and unsurprisingly, the washugyu (which I first came to know on my previous trip) beat out the other two meats – it has what seems like the perfect combination of beefiness and tenderness. Mainland restaurants need to get in on this!

Local citrus curd, bay leaf foam, buttermilk whey ice cream, toasted buckwheat
Visually simple, but the bay leaf foam (like the potato foam above, texturally impressive) enveloped a superb citrus curd. Eaten all together, the components really synergized – one of the stronger desserts I’ve had in recent memory, and the ideal follow-up to the richness of the beef and rice. Hats off to the team for this one.

With the pressure to develop a new menu every month, there are bound to be some misses here and there. Our first meal here was reasonably strong, but some courses were slightly off – to be fair, it was also their first night of a new menu. Tonight’s dinner, however, was very refined. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention how fantastic their cocktail program is – it would crush most places back home, for sure. And speaking of “crush”, we were destroyed by the donabe course – I will be dreaming of it until I can make it back to Honolulu for another taste. Until then…

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