Anas Musings | 9th August 2012
I love traditional Japanese breakfasts. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, some rice, miso soup = happy tummy. Mmm, mmm, mmm! Of course I’ve had quite a few tasty traditional breakfasts in Japan, but one of the best I’ve had was in New Zealand – who would have thought?
So traditional breakfasts can be found in all sorts of places if you hunt around, and Mizu Restaurant is one such place. Set in a residential area of Teneriffe, Brisbane, this unassuming little Japanese restaurant quietly serves up all sorts of Japanese style breakfast fare on weekends. And best of all, it is actually owned, operated, and served by Japanese people (which, is getting rare these days!).
Mr Ana and I finally made it after fantasing for months (we had other things going on ) and ventured in to see what was on offer. The restaurant was streaming with natural sunlight and each table was set up neatly. There were sake bottle lining the serving area, as well pictures of fish adorning the walls. Nice and simple.
Beautiful Japanese Food | Trip Advisor | 18 Aug 2012
We were looking for a nice takeaway dinner on a recent public holiday in Brisbane and found our usual choices were not open.
Thus we decided to try somewhere that we had heard about in the past and Mizu lived up to expectations. We got some sushi rolls, sashimi and two japanese salads (crab & wagyu) to take away. They were delicious and combined created a very affordable two course dinner at home for two adults plus our discerning 7 year old!
With a nice glass of wine we could enjoy a beautiful japanese dinner on our own balcony.
Would recommend highly!
Best breakfasts from abroad in Brisbane | Brisbane Times Review | 1 Feb 2012
This pocket-sized bistro on the edge of Teneriffe does a roaring trade in traditional Japanese breakfasts on weekends, and for good reason.
From Okonomiyaki (savoury Japanese pancakes) to the Mizu omelette served with steamed rice and light vegetarian sauce, or Loco Moco (wagyu hamburger topped with fried egg and accompanied by sesame gravy rice) to the traditional Bento Box (a chef’s selection involving grilled fish, agemono, sumono and pickles with steamed rice and miso soup) everything here is daintily delectable.
As an accompaniment, the green tea lattes are a treat. Weekends 8-11am, 2 Macquarie St, Teneriffe.
Best cheap eats around town | Brisbane Courier Mail | Best Cheap Eats | 23Jul11
Japanese picnic in a box, the Mizu bento is a delicious bargain, offering an array of goodies. The fried stuff such as the lightly battered karage-Japanese fried chicken, the fried pork balls and amazing crisp-bottomed gyoza are balanced by a petite salad with French dressing, miso soup and white rice. Eat in or take it back to work to make your colleagues jealous.
Brisbane Times Review | 12 Nov 2010
What is it about Japanese food that makes Australians take it so seriously?
So many restaurants are lovely but self-consciously serious: impeccable service, fine servingware and hushed best-behaviour diners trying to outdo each other with stories of the best yellowfin sashimi they’d ever had at a market in Kyoto.
The casual local Japanese eatery is what we really need more of in Brisbane. I’m not talking about sushi trains that serve food with about as much in common with Japanese cuisine as a Burger Ring. But small, friendly places run by people who know what they’re doing and use fresh, authentic ingredients.
And Mizu, a five-year-old restaurant in Teneriffe, should be the template.
I’m devoted to its weekend breakfast, which they claim is unique to Brisbane (try the crab omelette or Wagyu steak with fried egg and rice) but until this week hadn’t yet made it to dinner. My loss.
I often pass by Mizu (meaning water, apt for a riverside restaurant with a focus on seafood), which blends into the homes at the New Farm end of Macquarie Street. It’s usually half-full, rather than packed, and seems to have a solid local following.
It’s a mid-week night when we arrive as walk-ins at seven, and are seated outside. The parked cars lining the street don’t make for the most picturesque of vistas but there’s not a lot of traffic and it doesn’t bother us.
Inside, Mizu’s decor is stylish and simple, with pretty prints of fish adoring the pale walls and simple wooden tables.
Our waitress places our wine ($4 a head for corkage) in an ice bucket and pours it for us while we take a look at the menu. Next time, I’d leave the bottle at home and start with a Kirin or Asahi ($7) before moving on to sake – specifically, nihon shu, or fermented rice alcohol – of which they offer an extensive choice starting at $7 for a 100mL pour to $35-$95 for a bottle.
A whole bottle of sake isn’t something you want to finish off in one sitting – unless you’re a recently-fired salaryman, perhaps – and the restaurant offers, unusually and adroitly, to hold opened bottles of sake in the fridge for up to three months until your next visit. A waitress tells me they’re currently babysitting about 20 bottles, suggesting a strong following of sake-loving regulars. The drinks list also offers a decent, but small, choice of wine by the glass or bottle, as well as green tea and Japanese liquors.
Turning to the food, a main dish of black cod saikyoyaki (grilled miso-marinated black cod), $30, can’t be passed up. Miso-marinated black cod, a dish made famous by celebrated Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisha (the Nobu in Nobu) in the ’90s, is served at Mizu with fried eggplant and zucchini with saikyo miso sauce, mizuna leaves and julienne salad.
The menu suggests we share dishes, so, as the cool spring night has put us in the mood for a light dinner, we decide to split the cod along with a plate of fried octopus dumplings ($12) with okonomi sauce, mayonnaise and pickled ginger, and a crab and soba salad ($20).
The salad arrives first – fresh sandcrab in a tangle of earthy buckwheat noodles is fresh and sweet, topped with crunchy greens for contrast. The muted flavours let the beautiful crab meat dominate.
Octopus dumplings are next, six of them served with okonomi sauce, mayonnaise and pickled ginger and dried fish flakes. They’ve been fried for not a moment too long – the crumb is crisp while the fish is tender without a hint of rubberiness.
Then the cod arrives and the first two dishes, great though they are, are momentarily forgotten.
This is a really, exceptionally good way to serve fish. I can’t think when I last enjoyed a plate of seafood more. The cod’s skin is crispy with the caramelised miso, sitting in a small pool of sweet saikyo miso sauce, the flesh of the fish so buttery and tender it’s a challenge to keep in chopsticks. The Western twist of soft, fried eggplant and zucchini is a brilliant pairing.
While Mizu may have successfully shaken off some of the stiffness of Japanese dining, it’s done so without losing the traditional appreciation of beauty and dedication to detail: everything is served on gorgeous glazed pottery plates and with relaxed efficiency from the waitstaff (whose kimono-inspired aprons are for sale, should one take a liking to them).
Next time, I’m ordering a bottle of sake. Mizu might just be my new local favourite.
Surprise Package -A small Japanese eatery makes a big impression on Tony Harper
Brisbane News- 5th May 2010
People have been mentioning Mizu to me for at least two years. This wee Japanese restaurant housed in the wilds of Teneriffe looks like little more than a glorified takeway, but it punches well above its weight when it comes to the food.
The word on the street is true – it is good.But if you don’t take a great deal of notice, it doesnt look like a lot. Its laid-back, bare bones and casual, but not in a cheap or tacky way.
“The Mizu kitchen is capable of magic. A dish of black cod saikyo yaki (grilled miso-marinated cod with eggplant and zucchini, saikyo-miso sauce, mizuna leaves and julienned salad,$30) thrilled. The fish was as perfect a piece as I’ve eaten in the past two years. The balance was spot on – a hint of sweetness foiled by the bitter notes in the salad, it was texturally complex and simply sublime.”
Mizu offers traditional Japanese touch in New Farm
Restaurant Review – 12Jan09 – Lizzi Loel
IT’S an unassuming little place but Mizu on Macquarie St in New Farm has a very firm handle on its product - great, rustic,authentic Japanese food.
Don’t go there for the fit-out unless you are looking for simple and inconspicuous with undressed tables and moulded plastic chairs outside and much the same against a painted wall within.
There are some great prints of fish on the wall and a pleasant waiting area near the counter should you want to order your meal to go.
At lunch there are bento boxes in many guises but there are also plenty of other choices that you can order individually.
Edamame (soy beans) come steamed and still in their pods, sprinkled with sea salt, which is about all they need.
The sashimi plate has a mixture of fish including white reef fish, salmon and top-grade tuna. There are gyozas, californian rolls and a line-up of salads, the most enticing of which was the crab and soba salad. Fresh crabmeat is shredded throughout bouncy buckwheat noodles and Asian green leaves, tossed in a mildly spiced dressing and topped with fried lotus root. Served in an earthenware bowl it was worth fighting for, and that is exactly what ensued as three of us descended on it as the first dish to hit the deck.
Chicken kara-age was less popular but only because it arrived after the crab assault and also the sashimi and seafood tempura spreads.
At night the sashimi morphs into something of a West-East fusion with thinly sliced tuna being billed as mizupaccio served flat on the plate and dressed with grape seed oil, soy and dried shisho flakes.
The crab and soba salad is supplemented by a prawn and mango number and the Mizu summer salad (tofu, cherry tomatoes and julienned salad sprinkled with ponzu sesame dressing) also appears both night and day.
At night there is a range of other dishes that all warrant investigation. There are wagyu dishes with MS grading of 6-7 served with spicy garlic miso and sauteed mushrooms, a tuna steak pan-fried with sukiyaki sauce and a “touch of sansho pepper” and ebi kinoko, sauteed local tiger prawn with mixed oriental mushrooms and topped with salmon caviar.
As usual when I review a Japanese restaurant I have a son in tow. It’s much more work to prepare their favourite food at home than to let them tag along (although I think I can still peel some rice remnants off the kitchen ceiling from the last sushi-making session) and for all of us visiting Mizu is way more appealing.
In addition to all the separate dishes I ordered, he still felt it necessary to order a bento box which, interestingly, are offered day and night.
This came with the usual inclusions of pickled vegetables, miso soup as well as a tempura prawn, sashimi and a little serve of beef yakiniku. It was a feast and all gleamingly fresh and there’s a wine list that, while small, is sensitive to the delicate nature of the food.
Mizu also has a solid collection of sakis and Japanese liqueurs and if you wish will store your bottle for up to three months.
Queensland- Sunday Mail- Sushi down by the Docks
Restaurant Review – 27Apr 08
A friendly Japanese restaurant at Teneriffe does traditional dishes in a superbly tasty Sunday lunch.
A Sign on the door of Mizu stated: “Thanks to your support we are now open seven days.”
I was unsure what support they were talking about, as on my recent visit to the Japanese restaurant the place was empty. With blue sky and the sun shining, I would have thought the cafe at dockside Teneriffe would have been packed for a Sunday lunch, but we were the only patrons.
The absence of customers worked in our favour though as we received nothing but speedy, warm and friendly service from our very attentive waitress.
Judging by the food, though, there was no reason for the place to be quiet.
The menu consists of traditional Japanese dishes including gyoza (pan-fried pork and vegetable dumplings), buta kakuni (slow-cooked Bangalow pork belly in soy, sake and garlic), and beef tataki (sliced rare beef eye fillet), plus Western favourites like miso soup, sashimi and sushi.
We started our lunch with the calamari panko and chicken kara-age from the starters and light meals section.
The kara-age (fried chicken) had a deliciously crunchy batter, while the chicken inside was moist and tender. The panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) were crisp and fresh, while the calamari was a little chewy.
We then moved on to a small plate of california rolls. The prawn, avocado and cucumber combinations were beautifully fresh and the rice was just sticky enough to stay together without being gluggy.
Our final dish was the Mizu bento lunchbox.
One of three bento boxes on the menu during our visit, it included two of the chef’s specials – on this occasion swordfish and chicken teriyaki – plus sashimi and tempura prawn and vegetables. It also came with dipping sauce, salad, rice and miso soup.
The tofu in the miso soup was silky smooth and almost as good as tofu gets.
The side salad was also delicious, with a wonderfully light but tasty dressing adding plenty of flavour to the mixed leaves (although it was just mixed leaves – don’t expect a garden salad).
In the box itself, the tempura prawn (yes, just one) and vegetables – potato, zucchini and pumpkin – were cooked like only Japanese chefs know how. The batter was light and crispy, with just the right amount covering each ingredient so as not to weigh them down.
The teriyaki chicken was all right, but I’ve had better. However, the small piece of swordfish – covered in a sweet, sticky sauce – was divine. Flaking at the touch of my chopstick, it was cooked evenly through and well flavoured.
Swordfish also featured in the sashimi, along with salmon and tuna.
There were two slices of each raw fish, which were all fresh and cut to just the right thickness.
The wine list is minimal to say the least, with only seven whites and reds plus a sparkling available, and only three of those offered by the glass. We opted for beer instead, and with four Japanese beers on offer – Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo and Ebisu – it was the far better choice.
Each worked well with the food, and was the perfect Sunday afternoon throw-back.
While the decor is fairly plain, both inside and out, the fact that you’re in Teneriffe sort of gives the place a cool vibe anyway.
If you’re in the mood for well-priced, tasty Japanese food and friendly service, make Mizu a place to consider.
Brisbane News Magazine
Restaurant Review – Feb 13-19. 2008
Simplicity can be complex, as I discovered when my wife and I spent a week in Hagi, a medieval castle town at the western end of Japan’s main island, Honshu. Famous for its pottery and 17th-century Samurai houses, Hagi also happens to be a gastronomic hotspot. We found the food remarkable, and became converts to the Japanese way of
eating. More than any other cuisine, Japanese food relies on natural fl avours. What could be simpler than sashimi, consisting of nothing more than raw fish cut into slices?
Behind the simplicity stands a philosophy that celebrates aroma and texture. Sydney super-chef Tetsuya Wakuda says Japanese cooking is the art of making simplicity seem like abundance.
In Japan, traditional cooking is mostly done in or over water, not in oil. This explains why Japanese remain generally slim – despite a yen for hamburgers among the young.
In Brisbane, Japanese restaurants are few in number, fast-food outlets aside. One new addition is Mizu in Teneriffe, where coowner and chef Soichiro Chaki presides over a casual dining space.
Chaki’s food covers many bases – salads, sashimi, tempura, teriyaki, tonkatsu and steak. The wine list is ordinary, but the range of sake (five types) and beer makes up for it.
The waiter’s command of English was equivalent to my fluency in Japanese, which led to charming confusion, rectified when we were seated and served with a Japanese amuse-bouche dish of cold tuna with egg.
Mizu’s pottery plates have been handthrown and reminded us of Hagi as we shared entrees of green beans with sesame sauce ($7) and fried fish with onions and carrots marinated in sweet vinegar sauce ($8). The beans were enlivened by a sauce in which tartness and nuttiness seamlessly combined. My fish, amid julienned vegetables,
delivered a pleasing pickle taste due to the vinegar sauce.
For some reason, Chaki refuses to heat sake in quantities of less than 150ml, so I left my wife to sample a large, warm sake at $15, while I investigated a flight of three 50ml thimblefuls of cold sake ($12).
By way of mains, we opted for blackboard specials. My wife ordered a warm salad with tempura prawns ($18). I chose mutsu saikyo yaki ($24), left, fillets of grilled toothfish marinated in miso. They were fall-off-the-chopsticks tender. The warm salad consisted of fresh green leaves spliced with slices of mango, and the tempura prawns were encased in crisp batter. The salad came with tofu and tiny cubes of cheese described as wasabi cheese. This is not the first time the East has lunged towards the West, but the inclusion of cheese did nothing for the salad, or the prawns.
A pot of green tea ($3.50) rounded off a meal that delivered satisfying flavours with quintessential simplicity.