Mio Sushi is setting a new standard for Bend Oregon Restaurants. I have not been this excited about a restaurant opening since Don Don took over the spot where blue fish used to be downtown. We were excited to try a new sushi restaurant as we only have a couple of options here and none are affordable. Japanese restaurants like deep, Sumi’s, and Kanpai need to pay particular attention to the business practices at Mio Sushi. All you stupid commentors that have testified to the reasoning behind the crazy expensive sushi in Central Oregon need to shut the hell up. Mio Sushi has figured out a way to bring quality sushi to Bend without charging a month’s mortgage for it.
The wife and I went out of our way to visit Mio Sushi after I heard that it finally opened. This place is effing awesome and if you like Japanese food or just want to finally eat some affordable Sushi, drop what you’re doing and get over there.
I wouldn’t be BOR if I didn’t call it like I see it so I’ll tell you that they are experiencing some restaurant opening struggles. On our first visit it took forever to get our sushi order filled.
Our appetizers and entrees arrived promptly and were great. While we waited for the sushi we shared some Tonkatsu (pork cutlet that has been breaded and deep fried, served with a house salad, miso, and rice), an order of Shumai/Gyoza, and Agedashi (deep fried tofu). But we waited a solid 15 minutes after we had eaten everything for our sushi to show up. That sucked. Sucked so bad that when we realized that our order had been skipped or not submitted properly, we adjusted our order to just get the rainbow roll and a couple orders of Saba (Mackerel). BUT, when the rainbow roll finally arrive, it was amazing. More on that later.
Agedashi Tofu – Deep fried tofu (the only way to eat tofu) with sweet sauce for $4.25.
As with most of the dishes, presentation does not seem to be the focus. Instead we got to eat great food at a very fair price. The Agedashi is great when you want a filler for cheap. My dad told me a story about a roommate of his from college. He made this huge kid eat a loaf of bread before they ate their dinner. If he didn’t, his roommate would eat too much too fast and my dad wouldn’t get his fair share. I use that same technique when dining with a group at sushi restaurants by ordering a couple orders of Agedashi Tofu. That way all the chumps fill up on tofu and I get to pick off all the left overs of unagi and ebi as everyone will be stuffed. I’m cheap and selfish that way, get over it.
Shumai and Gyoza for $4.50 (4 pieces of each)
The wife mentioned that she’s never seen Shumai (a traditional Chinese dumpling) deep fried. I’m not sure if this was a mistake or not but normally they are steamed. I didn’t care, I like anything deep fried. Throw some bacon on that mug and I’m dying happy.
One of my favorite dishes is Katsu, especially Tonkatsu – breaded pork cutlet fried and served with a thick Tonkatsu sauce for $9.95.
I was surprised at the portion. I expected one cutlet over rice but got like 2.5 to 3 cutlets with miso and rice for only ten bucks. Great portions, great price and prepared perfectly. The Tonkatsu Sauce is a thick, sweet (mostly sugar and corn syrup) sauce that looks like reduced balsamic vinegar but tastes great with fried anything. Our brand that we keep in the fridge is Bull-Dog. The wife grew up on this stuff. She even has a song from her poor ass childhood.
Imagine a chain gang smashing rocks like in Oh Brother Where Art Thou:
Bull-Doggin on the lows of high
Bull-Doggin on the highs of low
(and repeat over and over again)
I love her ghetto ass. I get treated to this song every time the Bull-Dog comes out of the fridge.
We ate these dishes and sipped on our miso while we waited and waited for our sushi to arrive. Sadly they had not received their liquor license so no booze for BOR….sounds like a great charity event – Booze for BOR, let me know if you want to contribute. Don’t worry, they have their liquor license now and you can get all sorts of alcohol. But if I see you at the sushi bar with a sake, I’ll drink it up.
BOR – “Here, if you have a hot sake, and I have a hot sake, and I have a straw. There it is, that’s a straw, you see? You watching? And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your hot sake… I… drink… your… hot sake!”
BOR screams in your face – “I drink it up!!!!”
Now, the rainbow roll and saba (mackerel) finally arrived. The Rainbow Roll is a California Roll that has slices of nigiri rolled on the outside of the roll. There is taco (octopus), sake (salmon), ebi (shrimp), maguro (tuna), white fish, and avocado for only $8.95.
HUGE roll and great quality. I didn’t care for the sauce that was drizzled around and under it but I was still happy with the portions that the wife let me have. The Saba was just insane! Very good cuts and one of the only places in Bend to get mackerel.
We went back to Mio Sushi the next day and had a new server who was not on top of her game….again, working out the kinks. But this time they had their liquor license so I got some hot sake and the wife got some fruity sparkling sake thingy. I also got the Bento Combination #1, my favorite and my recommendation if you go for lunch or dinner.
Chicken Teriyaki, Vegi-Gyoza, and assorted Tempura for $11.95 (dinner, lunch is only $7.95) and you get miso, house salad, and rice. Of course I forgot to get a photo. But I did get a photo of the Spider Maki (soft shelled crab that has been fried to a crisp). I have never seen a soft shelled crab this big used in a sushi roll before.
The end piece with the crab legs sticking out, I was able to take this part and actually break off a leg and the body section, there was actually crab meat in it. That’s just redonkulous!! Normally the crab is so tiny that you never get any meat out of those suckers.
I feel like I’ve been writing for days on this review of Mio Sushi. But before I wrap up I have to even mention that they have THE BEST kid’s meal on any menu in Bend. For $6.95 ($5.95 at lunch) kids get Teriyaki chicken, miso, edamame, rice, and their choice between a full 6 piece California roll, gyoza, or assorted tempura. That’s the best deal in town, I wish I was under 12.
63455 N. Highway 97, #35
Bend, OR 97701
PS, Get the Green Tea, best I’ve ever had.