Friday, February 01, 2008

Mimigar, Gallery Hotel

Aside from being the name of this Okinawan restaurant, Mimigar (1 Nanson Road, #01-08 Gallery Hotel, tel : 6235 1511) also refers to pig's ears which happens to be one of the specialty of the restaurant. Okinawan cuisine as I have learnt share similarity in style or are influenced by Chinese/Taiwanese food. There seemed quite a bit of stir frying involved. Pork is widely used and considered to be an important ingredient. Seafood here seemed to be much less visible then in other Japanese restaurants. More interestingly, Okinawan cuisine also features taco rice. Tomato salsa, melted cheese and shredded lettuce over rice. Those taco rice here comes in the regular variety and also a chef's special which include curry.

Ambience was nice. The location suggest that the restaurant would be pricey, but that is apparently not so true. That being said, the bill does add up. Servings are mostly small plates and you tend to add on. This place charges for their otoshi which consisted of some simmered vegetable, pickled vegetables and a fried potato ball. There was no mention on the menu or by the wait staff on that. Considering that most of the dishes were priced less than the otoshi itself, I thought it was quite expensive at $10 per person.

mimigar with peanut paste

The mimigar was essentially the skin from the pig's ears with cartilage. The texture was both chewy and crunchy. Beside the texture, there wasn't much flavour beyond the creamy peanut paste. Interesting as it might be (it didn't taste bad), I'm in no hurry to order them again.

umi budou

These umi budou are also known as sea grapes. I hadn't any idea what sea grapes were until the proprietress/chef explained that they had texture akin to tobiko but was actually an aquatic plant from the sea. These pretty jade coloured globules did look like bunches of flying fish roe. The taste was akin to a very mild flavoured seaweed. Bursts in the mouth. They were served with ponzu.


Was quite impressed with the rafute which was simmered pork belly. They were served hot in a sweet soy broth and had fat that disintegrated in your mouth. What impressed me about them also was that it stayed soft even after the dish got cold and tasted still as good. Would get more of these if I come back.


The rayu-ae was actually an appetizer, the first of it's kind I've had and I enjoyed it a lot. There were cubes of maguro, cream cheese and shredded leek tossed in what is described on the menu as Ishigaki Island special chilli oil. Which was very fragrant stuff. What impressed me about this dish was how that chilli oil harmonized in flavour with the tuna and cream cheese. Very mouth watering.

hirayahci with curry and cheese

These hirayahcis were some sort of Japanese pancakes. The curry and cheese flavour didn't quite turn out the way I imagined. There was little cheese in the pancake. The curry had the spice but not the edge from any heat. The menu mentioned daikon which I could neither see nor taste. It was supposed to be served with a citrus sauce which didn't come with the dish. Instead, there were bits of minced meat (I think it was beef) and the pancake reminded me of murtabak. This was actually quite good. Comfort food that I was happily stuffing my face with.


This was pork innards soup. The main difference between nakam-jiru and the pretty commonly found Chinese variety here was that the dominant flavour was mushroom rather than the other pork innards. I was tempted to ask for pepper. Haha. Not because it tasted bad. I guess it's just a reaction to pork innards soup which I think rocks with healthy dose of pepper.

macha baravoi

I was initially a apprehensive of this dessert because green tea and matcha based desserts are everywhere. The pairing has become a diluted replica of a flavour profile with little depth and originality for the most part. Fortunately this green tea mousse of theirs was retained a good amount of the green tea fragrance. I enjoyed this one.

On the whole, the food at Mimigar was unexpected but also pleasant. Liked this place enough to consider returning to try more of their food in the future.


red fir said...

cool place. how much was the meal per pax?

LiquidShaDow said...

It's a bit tricky to explain.

The total bill was about $144 for 2 after tax and service. That meant that the cost before is about $123

$20 went to the otoshi. $18 went to 2 glasses of Asahi.

So what you see is about $85 worth for 2 persons before tax.

red fir said...

thanx. $45 per pax is quite a steal although i can't quite fathom paying the $10 otoshi though.

oh do u happen to know if they are open for lunch? ST just ran an article on them yest.

LiquidShaDow said...

I don't know if there is an option for not having the otoshi though. I'll probably try asking that if I go back there again.

I'm not sure if they are open for lunch, but I suspect not. I could be wrong about that though. I tried calling a few times for reservations throughout the afternoon and no one picked up the phone until it was about 4 or 5. So I do not know if they were busy and couldn't attend to the phone or it's simply just that no one is in yet. Wine & Dine did mention that they only do dinners for the time being.