Mikado's claim to fame is that they are Alberta's first Japanese restaurant, having been opened since 1972. Over the years, they have grown into three locations across Edmonton: downtown, South Edmonton Common, and Terra Losa. They obviously must be doing something right to be sticking around for so long.
I've been to Mikado countless times in the past, both at the west and downtown locations. The food is generally pretty good, although priced on the higher end of the spectrum. I know Japanese food has a reputation for being expensive, but the prices at Mikado definitely have more sticker shock.
My family and I were out shopping at WEM when we decided on sushi for a late lunch/early dinner. (I don't know if there's ever a moment when we're not craving sushi.) Our go-to Japanese restaurant in the west side is usually Kobe, but because they were closed for that awkward time period between lunch and dinner, we headed to Mikado instead. A short drive from WEM, the west-side location is nestled in the middle of the complex with Chapters (my home away from home) at the end.
We decided on bento B1 ($18.50) to share: chicken teriyaki, salmon and tuna sashimi, assorted tempura, rice, and green salad. Prices have definitely increased over the years since I don't remember when their lunch bento was pushing $20. (A similar bento elsewhere would probably be $15 tops.)
Regardless of the price, all of the components of the bento were executed well. The sashimi was fresh, although cut on the thin side. Tempura pieces were crispy and hot, and the chicken had a nice, delicate char flavour.
Off of their appetizer page, we decided on the deep fried squid ($9.50), served with a ginger sauce. It was alright; the squid legs were a bit chewy and the ginger sauce was a tad too chunky to dip the squid with.
Touted as their most popular item, dragon eyes ($13.00) is a deep-fried salmon roll served with a generous amount of spicy mayo. The roll is supposed to mimic the look of an eye, with carefully placed strands of green onion acting as the pupil. The salmon is fully cooked after the trip in the deep fryer, so it's a safe choice for those uninitiated in the world of sushi. I tend to find the salmon gets quite dry, but a dip in the spicy mayo makes up for it.
Another roll we decided on was the red rose roll with unagi (BBQ eel) and avocado. It can be topped off with bluefin tuna ($22.00) or salmon ($18.00), which is what we got. It was all mainly soft textures, so it could've used something to give it crunch. It was good, but it's a pretty basic roll so I'm not sure why it warrants such a high price tag.
Lastly, we got the spider roll ($22.00) with soft shell crab, real crab, cream cheese, asparagus, and lettuce. The plate was intricately decorated with a web of spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce. I'd ask to omit the cream cheese next time since it overpowered and masked the rest of the ingredients. (And yes, that little extra drop of teriyaki sauce on the left is bugging me too.)
Overall, Mikado is pretty good at delivering a consistent experience. Service is friendly, and the restaurant space is nice and clean, with private rooms at the left which makes it great for groups. Food is prepared well for the most part, but the prices are highly inflated and it just doesn't match the quality for me. I know there's better and cheaper, so Mikado is just one of those places that'll do in a pinch, but it's not necessarily my first choice for Japanese.