My friend Suzanne (aka @indyfoodswap) had mentioned to me that she had tried Miracle a couple of times and was intrigued by the menu—but she had only tried a couple of things and wanted to try others. We grabbed the hubbies and made a date night. While the sushi sounded good, and we knew we would order some, the small plates part of the menu is what is so interesting, so we ordered a bunch of things.
They also served us some complimentary amuse bouche (bouches?), because even though they have been open awhile, we ended up there on their grand opening weekend. They gave us a little tofu number with bits of cucumber and hot sauce and an Asian-style devilled egg. It had an interesting flavor with some wasabi but the egg whites were strangely firm. Nice touch though.
We each picked a small plate to share and honestly, they were all good. We all had different favorites. Not surprisingly, mine was probably the tuna tartare ($9). It was interesting, more of a minced tuna than diced, making the texture softer. Loved the perfect, panko-crusted soft-boiled egg on top. It was cooked exactly the way it should be. There was also a bit of spicy mayo on the plate that was nice to liven it up a bit. Another favorite of the group was the sweet chili grilled scallops with the pork belly fried rice and citrus beurre blanc ($15). I have to say, I kind of burned myself out on scallops in the past, and they are so often cooked to death, but these were done just right. Nice crispy caramelized exterior and soft interior. Hubby was a huge fan of the fried rice and I liked that they brought a bit of a citrus component in for balance.
The braised short ribs ($11) were also tasty—they were served in an ultra rich beef broth and had chestnuts, fingerling potatoes, carrots and onions. This is a good hearty and intensely rich dish. Hubby also loves his little birds, so we tried the crispy roast quail with sweet and spicy noodles ($10). This one wasn’t bad, and everyone seemed to enjoy the noodles the most—it was just kind of hard to share that one little bird between 4 people. I liked the scrambled egg touch to go with it—an interesting touch. I always love a random egg showing up here and there. A side of frites ($3) filled the starch void—they were flavorful with some ginger and garlic, although I could pass on the ketchup served alongside—I would rather have a spicy mayo or something like that to dip them in.
We also ordered several rolls to share. Overall, I would say while the sushi was good, the small plates were more interesting. I think maybe I liked “The Flaming Dragon” ($15) the best. There was shrimp, avocado, cucumber and spicy soft shell crab inside and avocado, seared tuna, eel sauce, spicy mayo and Sriracha on top. One of the things I liked about the rolls here is that although there is a lot going on in many of them, they remain in bite-sized pieces. I hate it when you feel like you want to cut it in half. As for this particular roll, the ingredients were good—I could have lived without the Sriracha—seemed unnecessary and dominated all the other flavors a bit.
I liked the acid in “The Miracle” roll ($11). It had spicy tuna and tempura flakes inside and then super white tuna on top and a sweet wasabi sauce. There were also very thin slices of lime on top. I am undecided how I feel about this trend in sushi—if they are truly paper-thin, I enjoy it and the citrus it adds, but if it is just a hair thicker, the skin of the fruit is too chewy. These were on the border. One piece I ate it and the other I picked it off. The wasabi in the sauce was fairly mild, which I appreciated as I often find wasabi overpowers delicate fish.
The final roll was the “Crispy Unagi”($10). This one had shrimp, avocado and lotus root inside and fried eel, eel sauce, and sesame seeds on top. Also a nice size and good flavors—you have to like the slightly sweet/soy flavor of the eel sauce to really enjoy this one. The kitchen did a good job of varying the textures in the rolls giving the right amount of crunch to balance out the rich fish/avocado, etc.
We also shared a couple of desserts—the mandarin orange icebox pie ($6) and the banana spring roll ($6). Unfortunately, both of these were the weakest parts of the dinner and I was a little sad to leave the dinner on a down note. The pie was strangely gelatinous and just didn’t have a lot of flavor. The banana spring roll was kind of dry and filled with mainly what I think was apple instead of banana, because the fruit was pretty firm. Anyhow, I think the strength of this restaurant lies in other areas of the kitchen and I would just skip dessert.
The interior is pretty simply done in shades of gray—may be a bit stark for my taste, but is modern and clean. We had a nice meal and I would certainly go back and try more things. They are certainly making some creative things and most of the staff was extremely friendly and accommodating.
Miracle Sushi & Modern Asian
12505 Old Meridian Street
Carmel, IN 46032