Mr Miyagi, Windsor

Mr Miyagi is a very popular Japanese restaurant located on Chapel Street in Windsor, a short walk from the train station on the Sandringham line or tram 78. The restaurant prides itself on traditional cuisines with an experimental twist, and the design of the place itself also seems to reflect this.

As Mr Miyagi only takes bookings for larger groups, we got there about 10 minutes before it opened at 5pm on a Saturday, hoping to get a table in the first seating. There were already about 20-30 people in front of us, but luckily we managed to grab a table for two in the front section of the restaurant. The restaurant is very large and spacious, and despite being quite close to other tables, didn't feel too cramped or squashed. The decor of the place is quite simple, with dim lighting against pale walls and a cool neon sign that we were lucky enough to sit right under.

The menu at Mr Miyagi is designed to be shared, with different sized dishes depending on how hungry you are. There's also a feed me option, for those who can't decide what to get. The food comes out one dish at a time, and there's about a 5-10 minute wait between each one, so you actually become quite full even if you only order 3 or 4 dishes between 2 people. The dishes we went with were the Salmon Nori Tacos ($13 each), the Tempura Broccoli ($13), Prawn and Ginger Dumplings ($15 for 5) and the Miyagi Fried Chicken ($14 for 6 pieces). There wasn't too long of a wait for our food, and the staff were very attentive, friendly and helpful.

The Salmon Nori Tacos are one of the most famous dishes at Mr Miyagi; I'd actually had this before at one of the Noodle Night Markets a few years ago, but it was definitely better at the restaurant. The nori tacos came with grilled salmon belly, and also included sushi rice, spicy napa cabbage, japanese mayo and chilli oil. The taco shell was light and crispy, but sturdy enough that it didn't just break when you bit into it. There was a really generous serving of salmon, which was extremely tender and fresh, and contrasted nicely with the crunchy cabbage. Overall this dish was quite light (though spicy!) and definitely would recommend ordering if you go.

The tempura broccoli was seasoned with kimchi and salted buffalo ricotta, with an extremely thin and light batter that felt like it was hardly there. This was a really delicious and light contrast to most tempura dishes which has quite a heavy layer of batter that can taste quite doughy. The salted ricotta on top gave the dish an almost fluffy texture, and the broccoli itself was cooked perfectly and not too soft or soggy. The dish was a little bland though, and you couldn't really taste the kimchi seasoning, and would've been good to have some kind of sauce on the side - we found that we ended up dipping into the soy sauce.

The prawn and ginger dumplings were served with ginger threads, chilli oil and spring onion on the side. They tasted similar to wontons you can get at asian restaurants, but the prawn had less elasticity to it. It would've been nice to have a bit more of the ginger flavour in the dish, but it was light and delicious nonetheless.

The Miyagi Fried Chicken was served with a house made seasoning and kewpie mayo on the side. The seasoning was flavoursome enough that I didn't really even use the mayo at all, but it was good to have on the side for those who like that additional flavour. The chicken itself was soft and tender, with a crispy batter.

It was a really enjoyable experience at Mr Miyagi, and I can see why it is one of the most popular restaurants in Melbourne. Definitely worth going, but make sure to go early if you don't want to wait too long for a table!

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 8/10


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