Mimiu Honten's license to fame is that the Osakan regional specialty of udon-suki originated here at the restaurant. On top of that, its history as being one of Osaka's oldest restaurant that has been family-run for about 200 years makes Mimiu Honten a well loved establishment in the city. Tucked away on a quiet street and located in a traditional Japanese building, we slide the door open and walk in for our reservation. The hostess clad in traditional kimono leads us into an area and invites us to remove our shoes. She gestures for us to walk up the stairs to the second floor while saying she will keep away our shoes for us. Another lady in kimono is waiting for us when we get upstairs and brings us into a private tatami room.
Lunch at Mimiu Honten provides a selection of meal sets that are presumably a less elaborate affair than dinner but lunch here is no less delicate in preparation and every item is prepared beautifully and with care. We pick the Mimiu Bento lunch set and at ¥1,980 per person, it turns out to be more than affordable considering the amount of food served. Note: Mimiu Bento includes shrimp but we requested for no shrimp due to my allergy.
The sashimi includes slices of maguro (tuna) and hirame (fluke). In the mini weaved basket is an assortment of petite items which include grilled whitefish with vinegar, grilled salmon with sweet sauce, salmon "cake", mushrooms and mountain vegetables, tamago (Japanese omelet), and fruit strips tossed with peanut-tasting paste. The assortment sitting in the basket may very closely resemble a plastic food model from appearance but every item is cleverly and delicately prepared to be enjoyed through eating and not just admired. The bowl of rice topped with anchovies and oshinko (Japanese pickles) is just what we need to go with the assortment of food items. As requested, our tempura is not served with shrimp but instead it is substituted with whitefish. The surprise substitution turns out to be a good idea as rarely do we have fish tempura. The rest of the tempura items are eggplant, taro, and lotus roots. Our tempura items are not crispy but the ingredients make up for it. On a separate dish are other quintessential items of Japanese cuisine- braised daikon, pork slice, and mini mochi.
The udon, their specialty, is smooth to slurp and firm to bite. Our favorite is also yuba (bean curd skin), tied in a knot and placed on top of the udon. As fragile yuba may be, the layers of soft sheets are perfectly cook to maintain a firm and wonderful bite texture.
Our lunch here is the epitome of what Japanese cuisine stands for. Each dish is delicate and there is a little bit of everything to create a fulfilling meal. Here, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
When making advance reservations, there is an option between a private tatami room or a table in the main dining room. If selecting a private room, the restaurant requires that you pre-select your menu option.