It was a happy day for us when Mizu in Camana Bay first opened its doors, as huge Asian food lovers who missed the vibe and flavours of brilliant restaurants in the States such as New York’s excellent Tao and the ever-popular PF Chang’s chain, as well as London’s impressive and varied offerings in China Town. Mizu managed to bring that big city feel to this tiny rock and has consistently delivered excellent cuisine time and time again.
Stepping into the restaurant, you cannot help but soak up the décor that includes a curved and inviting bar that beckons you to sit for a while and enjoy a cocktail or two. Cocktails change on a regular basis but we are happy to try whatever is on the current menu, especially their sake sangrias, that pack a punch of fruity flavour, such as the cucumber + lime, which consists of sake, simple syrup, cucumber, lemongrass, ginger and fresh lime. Drink by the glass or by the pitcher.
Ushered to our table for two, I sit on the long bench seating so I can view the restaurant and people watch. With the restaurant quickly filling up this Friday evening, my initial worries that we might be a little too close for comfort with our neighbouring diners are soon gone once the noise levels in the restaurant increase and we become immersed in our meal.
Creatures of habit, we nearly always choose the dynamite tempura maki, which is shrimp, avocado and cucumber rolled in tobiko, which is usually sufficient for two for an appetiser. Tonight, we thought we’d push the boat out and try something new, their alyssa speciality maki that is the dynamite ramped up further - shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, wrapped with crab, salmon roe, spicy mayo and eel sauce. It was truly fantastic and the plate was cleaned far too quickly for good manners (luckily there was only the two of us).
A favourite meal at Mizu for us is to order a pile of appetisers instead of a main course each, which might have consisted of crispy duck spring rolls stuffed with roasted Peking duck, vegetables and rice noodles, served with hoisin sauce and the absolute favourite pork belly bites that are served on a bed of Mizu’s house-made kimchi topped with hoisin sauce and scallions. But this time we chose the more traditional route of a main each. Not usually red meat eaters, we tend to go for the amazing Nasi Goreng, which is Indonesian fried rice with chicken, prawns, pineapple, garlic and chilies topped with a fried egg and sliced tomatoes, their Mie Goreng, which is similar but has noodles instead of rice, or Pad Thai, surely everyone’s favourite stir fried noodles, marinated tofu, egg, toasted peanuts and scallion. But in the mood for change we instead opted for a warming bowl of Mongolian Beef, which consisted of melt-in-the-mouth braised beef with broccoli, red peppers and onion topped with scallions and sesame seeds and also the Massaman lamb curry, with lamb, potatoes, zucchini and onions in a southern Thai curry sauce. Both hit the spot, a great combo of succulent meat, warming but not fiery spices and plenty of sauce in which to immerse the rice.
For us, Asian food is definitely about the savoury and not the sweet, so our meal ended there, on a high night as ever. It won’t be long before we are back, though.