Monday, April 30, 2012

Unlucky Day at Miura Waffle and Milk Bar

Miura Waffle Milk Bar on Urbanspoon Tons of great reviews can't be wrong, right? Well... I had a pretty lousy experience this past Saturday at Miura Waffle & Milk Bar, so my one time there might have to be chalked up to bad luck. You can read about it and decide...

The waffles here are quite big, and very thick. The waffle-maker used creates a single, large, 4-quadrant circular waffle, which is then folded in half to make a sando, and can easily be cut in half for sharing.
You are probably getting more than twice the amount of dough compared to, say, a regular burger. Just half a waffle sandwich is therefore about the same as a medium burger, except that two-thirds of your sandwich is composed of waffle. If you measure food by cubic inches per buck, then Miura Waffle & Milk Bar does pretty well compared to a burger joint.
Each waffle is made fresh, so there is some delay when you order your waffle "sando". There are weekday specials, which translates to $1 off some of their waffle sandwiches.

When I went this past Saturday with some of the Food Bloggers Meetup members, I teamed up with one of the members and we shared three sandos, which were cut in half for sharing; I also ordered the Miura Shake for everyone to try, as most of us seemed a bit ansy about the use of wasabi in the shake.
  • Teri-Vani Sando - $5.99 - house-made vanilla ice-cream waffle sando w/ teriyaki sauce & whipped cream
    • This was one of the Sweet Waffle Sandos, and despite being basically a dessert, it got to our table first, probably because it was the easiest to make.
    • It turned out to be a big waffle folded in half, holding a large scoop of ice cream and some whipped cream. Since the ice cream was basically concentrated in the middle, the edges of the semi-circular sando didn't have any filling at all. And since the ice cream isn't the super-soft gelato style, just pressing your waffle halves together didn't really cause the ice cream to squish over and even out inside the sandwich.
    • As for the teriyaki sauce, there was a light drizzle of it and no noticeable flavour over the taste of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and waffle. Mostly, this sando tasted like waffle since it encased the ice cream.
    • Summary: Basically, I paid $6 for a large scoop of vanilla ice cream (albeit house-made). That kind of money can probably get you a whole small tub of premium ice cream at the supermarket.
  • Bulgogi - $7.99 - beef, egg sauce, kimchi & bulgogi sauce
    • Food Persuasion and VanFoodies both liked this one on their separate visits. Can't say I understand why.
    • As mentioned, I was sharing the waffle sandos and they were cut neatly in half. The Bulgogi sando has its beef baked into the waffle, and for some reason, after the sando was cut in half, all the meat ended up on one half of the sando, while my half had no meat at all.
      • I suspect they basically folded the waffle the wrong way. Maybe the meat was baked into two adjacent quadrants (one half) of the waffle, and that half was supposed to be folded onto the other half of the waffle that had no meat. Somehow this got mixed up?
    • I did get some of the "egg sauce", which turned out to be quite finely chopped up boiled egg. Not clear what the sauce was there.
    • Mostly the taste on my half was the generously sized waffle. I could see some preserved vegetables (the kimchi), but the taste (and the supposed infamous smell of kimchi) just wasn't there for some reason. As the description includes "bulgogi sauce", presumably there was also some marinade juice/sauce in there as well, but I couldn't detect it.
      • Food Persuasion does say she liked the Bulgogi sando in part because of the "subtle kimchi", so maybe there's something to that. Your mileage may vary, I guess.
  • Hoisin - $6.99 - hoisin sausage pork, cilantro, pickled radish & carrot
    • This last waffle was the one that really made me think either I had three strikes of really bad luck, or the Saturday cook just wasn't paying attention.
    • This was the last add-on waffle, so we actually got this one cut into four instead of two. Like the Bulgogi, the meat is baked into the waffle, and this time at least it seemed everyone got a bit of meat.
    • My experience of Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark brown, and sweet sauce. What was in the Hoisin sando was not Hoisin sauce. It was a orange-red chili sauce. It was also not very well distributed, apparently, because one of our group got a big off-putting bite of chili and she gave up on the rest of her slice.
      • Did the cook reach for the wrong sauce here? Maybe got it confused with the Garlic Chicken waffle sandwich, which as "red miso" in it?
    • No sign of Hoisin sauce anywhere, not even in addition to the chili sauce (which is not listed in the ingredients). On the brochure menu, it lists "hoisin sausage pork", which may mean the pork sausage (?) was marinated in hoisin sauce, rather than the sando having a shot of sauce. Whether it was or not, there wasn't anything sweet about the meat either.
    • For myself and one other member who were looking forward to a sweet-and-savory sandwich, we were disappointed by the distinct lack of sweet sauce. For one other, who was happy with spicy food, she actually liked this sandwich! Hurray for happy accidents, I guess.
  • Miura Shake - $5.99 - wasabi, house-made vanilla ice-cream & chocolate sauce
    • The "chocolate sauce" portion of this shake is very thick chocolate sauce swirled around the inside of the tall glass, and not mixed in. You'd be hard pressed to mix it in, actually, since the cold drink appeared to have helped it solidify.
    • The wasabi taste was not so strong as to burn your sinus, but it was definitely the dominant flavour, so much so that the vanilla ice cream barely had any effect for me.
    • Can't say I liked it, but at least one person in our group sort-of liked it, so if you like wasabi or wasabi peas, you can get a dose of that here without that painful shoots-up-your-nose sensation.
Okay, so at this point, I'm thoroughly disappointed by the food. What Miura Waffle & Milk Bar does have going for it, though, is really friendly counter service. Good service doesn't cancel out bad food, but it does score them bonus points as a restaurant.
One instance of bad food (even if it is three out of three sandwiches) might just be the cook having an off day, so don't let me stop you from trying Miura Waffle & Milk Bar in case you have better luck.

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