Mabiu you naughty little Japanese restaurant, you ran all the way to Kelowna, throwing a curve to the local dining market, and came out swinging with the best of them. It was a great surprise and a delight going through all the courses. The Kelowna market may not fully enjoy some of the food we ate, but in time they will. Almost everyone around us was ordering Sushi (Rolls and the occasional Sashimi), I wanted to shake everyone, and say WAIT what are you doing?!?! You are missing so much!

Super Kara Tempura Chicken – with a tomato spiced puree.

The menu’s at Mabiu, leave you guessing what you’ll get on some of the items. We will just call it ‘Lost in Translation’. When I went to Japan for the first time, I obviously got lost many times however always stumbling onto something amazing. Looks like we stumbled on to something amazing! I can’t recall ever having Karage/Tempura in any kind of sauce; it is like having your typical Chicken Wing Flavor, but Japanese style! The tomato sauce reminded me of an Indian dish, unfortunately I couldn’t quite figure out where I may have something similar to it. Great spice balance. Chicken was fried perfectly. This was a great start!

Sesame Cold Noodle Noodle with cucumber, tomato, thinly sliced egg and chopped pork mixed with sesame flavored sweet Broth. (Seasonal menu)

Chee – This perfect summer dish is both light and refreshing. Noodle was cooked al dente and having a little bit of the meat mixed in made it a heartier appetizer. This was initially ordered by Steve, but on the menu it didn’t mention it had Pork, more for me!

Raftee Slowly stewed pork belly Okinawa style.

Chee – Similar to the Chinese version of slow cooked cubed pork belly, this Okinawa style added a lot of flavour to the meat. During the 24 hours cooking process, Okra or Soy Pulp was used to remove the heavy smell from the pork. Sake, Dashi and Okinawa Kurozato or brown cane sugar are then infused into the pork. The result, soft and tender pork belly enriched with sweet flavour from the broth and the fat melt in your mouth. Kombu is included in the dish.

Orange Bay Scallop Hokkaido Scallop Tempura, chilled and tossed with Tobiko, Fresh Orange and Mabui Ali-oli.

I got a little giddy when I saw Hokkaido on the menu. In Japan, Hokkaido is renowned for its Sea Urchin (Uni) and Scallops, the water up north grows some of the best in the world, a lot of the 3 Star Michelin restaurants in Japan swear by it. The sauce really tasted as advertised, it was fresh, with the right balance of acids. The bite size scallops are tasty, and the fish eggs (Tobiko) offer a nice finish on the chew. It looks like a complicated dish with so much going on, but it binds itself well and comes together as a delicious Izakaya!

Puri Puri Ebi Mayo Jumbo Tiger Prawns lightly battered and coated in creamy spicy sauce.

Again, this could be one of those lost in translation moments. Puri is an Indian Fried Bread, would I get two? Absolutely not! After getting over that disappointment, I quickly figured out what Puri Puri was… That creamy spicy sauce, tastes a lot like Peri Peri Sauce that is served at Nandos Chicken (or most Portuguese restaurants). I always wondered what it would taste like with Jumbo Tiger Prawns, and now I know! :D This was a clear knock out. The sauce was a great compliment to the Prawns, the spice came late into the taste, so you get to enjoy the Tiger prawns with the reminder at the end its Spicy.

Toro Endive Tuna belly, Radish with Spicy Saikyo Miso topped on the Belgian endive.

It all has to come to an end… That last course before you thrown in the towel, can it finish strong? Or does it go out with a whimper? We initially didn’t want the Toro Endive, we ordered something else but they had run out, so I picked it out on a whim. This people, was the BEST Dish of the night. Sometimes it takes the simplest dish to bring out that blushing smile of enjoyment. Tuna Belly is absolutely divine on its own as a Nigiri. Then they add Belgian Endive. It’s very soft almost melt in your mouth but still providing a little crunch on your bite. After that bite, the Spicy Saikyo Miso Sauce throws itself around enhancing the taste even more; the radish offers a nice finish. I don’t know what it was about this dish. It was just AMAZING.

Check out the Flickr pages for more pictures.

Photographed by Chee


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