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Mirin, Hai!

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Robin Garr

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Mirin, Hai!

by Robin Garr » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:31 am


Mirin, Hai!

LEO's Eats with Robin Garr

Mirin’s shoyu ramen with roasted duck.
Image

Did you ever wait in line at Rumplings? I sure did. And I hated it when that little ramen-and-dumpling place just off Bardstown Road went away after only seven months.

So here's good news: Griffin Paulin, one of the minds behind the original Rumplings team has opened Mirin, a new ramen-and-more shop on Frankfort Avenue in Clifton.

Paulin, who's ably assisted by Chef Michael Macinnes, insists that Mirin is not Rumplings 2.0. But it draws from the same deep well of intensely flavored broths, culinary passion and dogged attention to detail to bring us something that comes as close to authentic East Asian cuisine as we're likely to get in Louisville.

“From a personal standpoint, I'm far more focused here, Paulin said. “A better eye on the numbers. … That's not to take away from what we did there. I was proud of the food and proud of my team. This is a different thing. Some will say better, I just prefer different.”

Okay, I can live with “different.” I loved Rumplings and I’m loving Mirin, and I’m happy it’s here. Housed in spartan quarters on the retail ground floor of a newish Clifton condo building - once home of Shiraz Mediterranean - Mirin is sharply focused on food, with no attempt at decor beyond the natural art of pots, pans and woks hanging over the open kitchen. Mirin should get a visual upgrade as it evolves, Paulin said. New stools are on the way, as are bamboo tops for the counters and tables.

The menu, painted on a wall board, is concise yet varied, and may change from time to time. Currently it features four Japanese-influenced ramen noodle items ($12 to $16); a pair of Vietnamese-style banh mi sandwiches ($8 and #9); three Chinese-style steamed bao buns ($2 to $3) and a handful of “other stuff” ($7 to $10), plus daily specials.

The liquor license is still pending but expected any day, Paulin says, all fingers crossed. Once the paperwork is signed, there’ll be a 30-label sake list, regional draft beers, and a basic house red and white wine.

We’ve been through a good share of the menu already, and I’m eager to try the rest. ...


Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/mirin-hai

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly’s Food & Drink section today.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

Mirin
2013 Frankfort Ave.
742-8923
Facebook: http://bit.ly/mirin502
Robin Garr’s rating: 92 points
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Jeff Cavanaugh

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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by Jeff Cavanaugh » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:07 pm

Mirin is excellent. We went for the first time last week.

My only complaint is the bread on the banh mi, which was soft, squishy, and had none of the light, crispy crust that banh mi bread should have. This was also my complaint with Pho Ba Luu, by the way. I haven't had great banh mi bread since Banh Mi Hero closed. :(
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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by James Natsis » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:40 pm

Jeff Cavanaugh wrote:Mirin is excellent. We went for the first time last week.

My only complaint is the bread on the banh mi, which was soft, squishy, and had none of the light, crispy crust that banh mi bread should have. This was also my complaint with Pho Ba Luu, by the way. I haven't had great banh mi bread since Banh Mi Hero closed. :(


If I'm not mistaken, Lee (Banh Mi Hero) used to get the bread from the Sullivan University bakery. Speaking of whom, its been a while since I had one, but the banh mi bread at Annie's Cafe was always good.
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Alexis Rich

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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by Alexis Rich » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:16 pm

Wait, am I reading this right? Forty bucks for ramen? For one person? Please tell me it's for two!
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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by Robin Garr » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:37 pm

Alexis Rich wrote:Wait, am I reading this right? Forty bucks for ramen? For one person? Please tell me it's for two!

No, that has to be a typo. The ramen dishes are all $12 to $16 for a very generously portioned bowl.
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Robin Garr

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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by Robin Garr » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:38 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Alexis Rich wrote:Wait, am I reading this right? Forty bucks for ramen? For one person? Please tell me it's for two!

Or are you talking about the total cost for the meal, $32 something plus tip for one visit, $37 something plus tip for the other? That was for two, and in included appetizers and drinks plus two ramen dishes each.
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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by Steve Shade » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:02 am

Robin Garr wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:
Alexis Rich wrote:Wait, am I reading this right? Forty bucks for ramen? For one person? Please tell me it's for two!

Or are you talking about the total cost for the meal, $32 something plus tip for one visit, $37 something plus tip for the other? That was for two, and in included appetizers and drinks plus two ramen dishes each.


I believe she looked at your review on the hotbytes home page. You have "modest" 20-40 dollars (not indicating that is for two) in the headline.
"Don't accept your dog's admiration as
conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
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by Adriel Gray » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:04 am

I am super stoked to try this out. Loved Rumplings!
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Mike D

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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by Mike D » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:10 pm

Just go to this place. Go now! That is all.....

Seriously, the food is THAT good.

The Veggie Ramen might be the most flavorful dish that I've ever eaten, and the tofu in it was the best preparation I've ever had without question. And I could eat a dozen of the Tofu Bao.
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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by GriffinPaulin » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:39 pm

Mike D wrote:Just go to this place. Go now! That is all.....

Seriously, the food is THAT good.

The Veggie Ramen might be the most flavorful dish that I've ever eaten, and the tofu in it was the best preparation I've ever had without question. And I could eat a dozen of the Tofu Bao.


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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by Iggy C » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:41 pm

We went last week -- the pork ramen was great! Nice, tender slice of pork, and the marinated egg was delicious. Will definitely be back.
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Re: 
Mirin, Hai!

by Mike D » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:31 am

Gotta report back --- I went again tonight to see if my first impressions were correct. They were.

Seriously, the Vegetarian Ramen is the best vegetarian dish I've ever eaten. I've eaten lots of tofu prepared just about every way possible, and this is the best I've had. I could drink a gallon of the broth, and I could definitely eat a dozen of the shoyu eggs. I spoke with Griffin as I was leaving and he explained how the eggs are prepared. Sounds time-consuming but the finished product...wow!!

If you haven't tried Mirin yet, you need to.

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