My partner found Miya’s sushi while researching stops for our vacation to Maine. We really wanted to make a special stop due to our growing concern about the welfare of our planet and our guilt ridden love of sushi. Perhaps this place has answers!!
It wasn’t what we expected. We heard a few other “sustainable” sushi bars but they are mostly focused on using the least damaging product but maintaining the status quo of what is expected from a sushi bar. Miya’s was very far from this. Walking in, it has more of a college eatery feel despite the sushi bar in the corner.
When we were sat we were immediately brought two glasses water and two fat menus were plopped in front of us. We started to read the menu which hosted none of the usual fare outside of a few appetizers, which even those were done with a special Miya’s twist.
Then we sat…and SAT. Luckily the menu was a wealth of new and unusual ideas interspersed with Chef Bun Lai’s comments. The comments talked in depth about his food philosophy and tributes to threatened areas, the power of women, people of color, etc.
We started off with a taste of Ultra Violet Kisses which is one of the infused sakes they offer. They offered us a taste because it’s extremely salty and kind of a commitment to drink. I think my partner found it a little too salty but I loved it because frankly it tasted like the juices from pickled plums (umeboshi) which I love. However, I felt too guilty glugging down that much salt and opted for the Dragon Lady while my partner enjoyed a Chinese Firecracker. Both were delicious but don’t order expecting to taste sake. These were more like a really well balanced cocktail.
We then ordered The Very Hungry Caterpillar meal, a small order of the Kiribati sashimi, a tyger tyger roll, and a spicy eggplant roll off the “sushi for the masses” menu which is Bun Lai’s more affordable menu. We really appreciated the care he took to address the costs of his restaurant (it’s expensive) and providing affordable options for folks on a budget.
On the menu it says, “Good food cannot be classist”. I would love to meet this guy.
Without going into detail for each piece we ordered I will say the food is nothing like anything I’ve tried before. The sushi rice is a mix of whole grain rice and quinoa and the fish varieties are a combination or sustainable fish, invasive species, some served stand alone, some dusted with spices or seasoned alongside vegetables. Everything tasted fresh and the combinations didn’t seem random. They were tested flavors that sang together.
Miya’s food was TASTY and SATISFYING. It’s also sustainable and healthy. I’m thankful for the invention of this place and I hope to see more establishments like it in the future. Really holistic eating without taking out the fun of it. The space is laid back, collegiate, and political in some ways- making it a unique experience.
In fact, it’s been four days but I salivate as I write this review. Revolutionary food is the best. Thanks Bun Lai.