December 17, 2011

Lunch @ Le Café Michi

 Le Café Michi is located in a tiny plaza at the corner of Pharmacy and Sheppard. If you blink, you'll certainly miss it. If it helps, the tiny restaurant is in the same plaza as Lin's Garden, which has more visible signage. In addition to the Japanese fare, Cafe Michi also offers a wide array of cakes.
Plastered on the front page of the menu is a list of rules to abide by while dining here. No reservations for cake and drinks only. They do not serve cake and drinks only during peak dining hours. No sharing of coffee or green tea. Minimum order charge of $5.00 per person if that person does not order anything. I personally found this slightly annoying and pretentious.
First came the salad and green tea that came with our lunch set. My mom was careful not to drink any of the green tea in fear that we'll be charged. Honestly, it was a little ridiculous because most Japanese restaurants serve tea for free! The salad was nice and refreshing, but nothing to write home about.
In addition to the lunch set, we also ordered uni sashimi, which both my mom and I love. This was simple and delicious- fresh and sweet! Uni is one of those things that will taste horrible if it's not fresh, but luckily this turned out great. It was very rich and satisfying, despite the small portion.
My mom and I shared a Chyo-chin Bento, which came in 3 stacked tiers.
At the very top was the featured deep fried selection (agemono) of the day- nuggets of lightly battered chicken drizzled with spicy mayo. This was very tasty, particularly that tangy spicy mayo. The chicken was juicy and flavourful, but not overly greasy.
The middle layer contained six pieces of assorted sashimi- salmon, tuna, and hamachi. I wasn't the greatest fan of this. First of all, the sashimi wasn't as cold as I would prefer it to be, a result of the middle tier being sandwiched between two hot courses. Out of the three types of sashimi, I only enjoyed the salmon. The other two had a slightly unpleasant fishy aftertaste.
The bottom tier featured unajyu on sushi rice. The hearty bowl of rice was topped with fillets of barbeque eel, shredded omelette, some pickled vegetables and toasted seaweed. I wished there were more than 2 pieces of fish, but other than that, this was really delicious. The eel wasn't particularly stellar, but what shone was the sushi rice, which was so flavourful that it hardly needed any garnish. After all the toppings were devoured, I had no trouble eating the rice on its own.
Finally, our tiny slice of blueberry cheesecake was utterly disappointing. I love my cheesecakes, and this one was awful! It was grainy, dry and bland. Even the blueberries as garnishes were sour. The only positive thing I have to say about the cake was that the slice was extremely small. Ergo, I didn't need to feel too guilty about eating it. Nevertheless, it was a complete waste of calories, and effectively ruined the meal, even though everything else was pretty good. I can definitely see the charm in this restaurant, but at the same time, I also sense a pretentious air that I don't appreciate. I wouldn't rush back any time for another meal. But when I have another fresh uni craving, I'll definitely keep this place in mind.
Le Cafe Michi on Urbanspoon


  1. Dunno if you have been there before or not, but one of my friends said Momiji is a really nice Japanese restaurant place to try. It's just a little more west on Sheppard from your place above :)

  2. I had their green tea mousse cake and I was disappointed at how dry it was. The green tea creme brulee was fine and had a lot of green tea flavour, but overall I expected more from Cafe Michi. I also tried their sushi and chicken teriyaki, and it wasn't that amazing.

    1. Yes... I don't know why this place gets such rave reviews. Some of hte food was pretty good, but overall, nothing wowed me.

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