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Sunday 1 May 2022

Defying the odds: a special dining experience

Miss Mi has a couple of obvious strikes against it. 

First, it is a restaurant in a hotel. A combination which only rarely produces stellar food. 

Secondly, it serves an adventurous pan-Asian menu. And it is a fact that restaurants offering several different cuisines on one menu rarely manage to get any of them right.

Miss Mi, however, is an exception to many rules. 

From the Philippines to Myanmar, Vietnam to Sri Lanka, be prepared for a culinary journey around Asia that hits a lot of high spots. 

Which probably explains why the majority of diners are actually Asian residents of Melbourne rather than hotel guests. 

This is a restaurant in a hotel; not a hotel restaurant. 

It is located in the Movenpick Hotel on Spencer Street, just across the road from Southern Cross Station. The hotel itself will merit another story next week. 

Here is the website blurb: “Dynamic yet intimate, Miss Mi merges the exotic with the familiar. Here, time-honoured Asian techniques, ingredients and flavours are paired with modern methods as our team takes you on a culinary journey to the heart of Asia.” 

I ordered a couple of dishes but the chef knew I was in house so kept sending out samples for me to taste. A light dinner turned into a feast. A most agreeable feast. 

There is an open kitchen so you can keep an eye on proceedings as the kitchen cast of many nations gets to work.

On the evidence of my meal, Miss Mi merited the Good Food hat it was awarded within weeks of opening. 

Some of the star starters of a very tasty show: delightfully crispy and flavoursome Vietnamese-style chicken ribs with nuoc mam; an intriguing plantain and banana dish and dangerously moreish Hong Kong prawn toast with chives.

Mains standouts include wild kingfish kinilaw, a Filipino take on ceviche, and the excellent Burmese goat curry with lemon verbena from Myanmar (below).

The only dish that did not hit the mark for me; Sulawesi-style lamb ribs that were far too fatty for my taste.

There is a solid wine list with offerings from the likes of Longview and Helen’s Hill by the glass.

A nice casual vibe and smart service. Highly recommended.

Miss Mi is open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm. Open for lunch from May 4, Wednesday to Friday from 12pm to 2.30pm. 

Note: Accor Plus members enjoy 50% off their food bill.

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