Minami is open for takeout, delivery and dine-in. Masks are mandatory and hand sanitizer is at the entrance.
The addition to the impressive Aburi portfolio offers a similarly elegant experience as its big sisters, which got their inspo from the two original west coast locations that started sprouting in 2008.
If you've ever hung around the Yaletown neighbourhood in Vancouver, you might be familiar with the first Minami restaurant that paved the way for this Toronto hotspot for high-end sushi.
The restaurant is stunning – enough to be shortlisted for an international award for its interior design.
The 4,600-square-foot space features a woven, red-and-orange sheet as its statement wall and a floor-to-ceiling mural by Japanese artist Hideki Kimura.
A bar adjoining off the dining room has several large sheets of tangerine fabric flowing from the ceiling to make it feel like an entirely new space of its own.
Coming with every bit of prestige you'd expect from King West, the restaurant is perfect for special occasions. Otherwise, keep it in your back pocket for when you need to wow a choosy dinner companion.
Exec chef Michael Acero and sous chef Danny Kwon bring life to the smorgasbord of sushi rolls and Japanese small plates on the menu.
Aburi sushi's introduction in the city is all thanks to the restaurant group and gets pressed in rectangular boxes before the fish on top gets lightly torched giving a charred taste.
There are five selections of the flame-seared oshi, which go for $9.25 for three pieces or $18.50 for six.
Ebi oshi is topped with prawn and Japanese salted plum sauce, saba gets cured mackerel, sweet miso sauce and bonito (a smaller cousin to tuna), and salmon oshi features a fresh slice of wild sockeye salmon from B.C. and a signature sauce from Miku.
Mix and match nigiri sushi options such as ikura ($6), uni (MP), otoro ($12) and the highest-grade Miyazaki Wagyu ($12). Each comes with a drapery of raw fish or meat over a clump of vinegary rice.
Among the signature rolls is the kaisen (five pieces: $17) packed with salmon, maguro, unagi, uni, cucumber, avocado and adorned with alfalfa. Spicy miso and a sweet soy sauce come on the side.
A highlight, next to the torched sushi, is the Japanese Wagyu beef, which can cost up to $200 per pound. The Miyazaki A5 Wagyu Tenderloin ($145) is seasoned with salt and seared for just a short time.
The four-ounce steak is then placed on a stone hot plate, which will be carried out to the table where it gets poured over with maple water. A leaf of rosemary placed on the stone gives it a woodsy flavour.
Even more unique flavours come through due to the addition of black garlic miso and truffle kimizu on the side. Keep the marbled meat on the hot plate until it's cooked to your preference.
Brussels sprouts ($11) is one of the a la carte options. Don't overlook this bowl of greens with sea salt and big chunks of fatty smoked bacon.
Desserts by pastry chef Aiko Uchigoshi are beautiful flavour bombs. The Japanese Cheese Tart ($13.50) comes with a crystalized top with shaved blue cheese that's meant to be cracked like a creme Brule. Then there's brown sugar mascarpone cream and lavender blueberry compote.
Matcha Baked Alaska ($15) has a soft shell of matcha meringue with dried figs and cranberries over dairy-free strawberry ice cream and roasted pistachios.
Drinks include sake, wine and daily cocktail features. Hakushu sour ($28) is made with Toki whisky from the southern Japanese Alps and a comforting blend of bergamot, lemon and angostura bitters.
Minami also does a $110 four-course tasting menu that gives first-timers the full experience, everyone at the table just has to be willing to splurge.