Mi Tzu Yan
Quite so Kosher
I have the best job in the world! I arrive at Mi Tzu Yan and amtreated like royalty from the moment I walk in. I don't think I've everbeen to a kosher restaurant before?this place is supposedly THE bestkosher restaurant in South Africa. The atmosphere is a little harsh for my tastes?very modern décor and bright lighting. Personally I prefer restaurants that are a little more cozy and atmospheric. But I take a seat and keep an open mind?I settle in with a kiwi and grapefruit martini?
From my comfortable spot in the corner, I take another look at the restaurant and my opinion changes slightly. I like the orchids, bonsai trees and other exotic-looking flowers scattered around the restaurant. The décor is more a mix of sharp, modern lines with pretty Asian features. However, I do wish the lighting was toned down slightly?
The manager takes us on a tour of the restaurant and the kosher kitchen. I am totally amazed at what goes into making a kitchen kosher. The washing of vegetables, handling and checking of all food and lighting of stoves is strictly only done by the Kosher Supervisor (the "Mashgiach" - this is loosely translated into English writing, courtesy the man himself).
The kitchen is immaculate! I have worked in many a restaurant and I have never seen a kitchen so spotless (rest assured, there will be no dropping of a steak on the floor and throwing it back on the grill). As we complete the tour, my date points out that not once does our tour guide talk about the fusion of flavours, the creativity in the making of the food or the freshness of the ingredients?I guess when so much effort goes into making sure the food is kosher, the passion of creating delicious food kinda takes a backseat. This is not to say the food was bad. In fact, it was very good for the most part.
These guys went all out for us. We tasted a huge variety of dishes, some better than others. The sushi was incredible - some of the best I have ever tasted (and I have done my research!). The butternut soup was also delicious as was the sole. The espetada was a little tough but I am told that this is usually the case with kosher meat as only certain parts of the animal can be used. The dessert is TO DIE FOR! Honestly, the chocolate volcano was probably the best dessert I have eaten for as long as I can remember?and I'm generally not much of a chocolate fan. It was quite magnificent.
It not cheap but this is mostly to do with the fact that often kosher ingredients are significantly more expensive and on top of that, the "mashgiach" is paid very very well, I'm told.
This place is very good. The food is tasty and there is a lot of variety, from sushi and teppenyaki to steak with chips and onion rings and the service is friendly and efficient. It's not an easy place to review because its most significant feature is the fact that it is strictly kosher. To be honest, if it wasn't for its kosher-ness, I wouldn't really consider it particularly special. But don't let that stop you from giving it a try, you may very well disagree with me. And don't forget to have dessert!
Its open everyday for lunch and dinner except fri night and sat lunch.
Shop 7, Baker Square Baker St