Miyabi 45th Restaurant Review

Allison Austin Scheff  |   July 2013   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Miyabi Seattle magazine noodle dishes Asian food Seattle
Miyabi 45th’s buta nanban—noodles in hot broth with pork belly and soft-centered egg

It’s a marriage made in noodle heaven: Japanese-born Mutsuko Soma, who attended the Art Institute of Seattle’s culinary program before returning to Japan to learn the art of making soba, and her adopted home of Washington state, which (who knew?) grows more buckwheat than anywhere else in the United States. Soma’s soba is the star at the quite civilized Miyabi 45th (related to Miyabi Sushi at Southcenter, but with a completely different menu), where diners can choose from a handful of variations on broth and ingredients—mushrooms, oysters, roasted duck—and then choose to dip the cold house-made soba, or have it hot in soup. Both versions are delicious, but to savor the earthy flavor and somewhat firm bite of the noodles, opt to dip; the duck and leek version (kamo seiro, $17) is especially good. However, the pleasures of the buta nanban (noodles in hot broth with pork belly and a soft-centered egg, $18) are equally seductive. A stellar lineup of Japanese appetizers includes smoked yellowtail collar ($12), a seasonal chawanmushi (soft steamed egg custard, $9) and the best thing I ate at Miyabi: the agedashi buckwheat tofu, cubes of meltingly soft house-made buckwheat tofu and eggplant in a smoky bonito broth ($8). Service is almost overly attentive, and there’s a refined quality to the interior—tables are adorned with plates from Japan and glassware from antique shops, and diners sit on stools crafted for the shop—yet it’s not too fancy for a weeknight drop-in. And in a city with so much Japanese food already, Miyabi brings something altogether new. You really should go. Dinner Mon.–Sat. Wallingford, 2208 N 45th St.; 206.632.4545; miyabi45th.com

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