184 W Boylston Street, West Boylston

(508) 835-1666


Bernard Whitmore 

My friend had suggested dinner at Miku and I didn’t know where it was or anything about their menu. Checking their website I was greeted with: ‘Feeling hungry? This is the place for you!’ in bold Germanic lettering like the cover of Mein Kampf. ‘This can’t be right’ I thought.


Then I noticed the subtext, ‘Miku offers a wide selection of Chinese dishes that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.’ That sounded better, and when I scanned the actual menu, I found dishes that spanned the major Asian cuisines with pages of sushi. Forget schnitzel, I wanted sashimi!

On the weeknight we arrived in the Wachusett Plaza we encountered a surprisingly packed parking lot. Steeling ourselves for a long wait, we walked into Miku to find an empty dining room. The crowds from all those cars must have been at pickleball, which has repurposed the former Salter School building. Pickleball – that Walmart of sports – resistance is futile; in the end we’ll all be perky pickleballers.

The long narrow segment of stripmall taken up by Miku was clean, simply decorated and very informal. A couple employees were occupied by phones and ipads, but our server soon approached with a casual greeting and menus. The beverage menu advises that Miku does ‘not sell alcoholic beverages and does have BYOB.’ They feature a wide range of carbonated beverages and ‘free tea’. 

Soft Shell Crab Tempura

We started with Soft Shell Crab Tempura. One medium-sized crab had been dipped in tempura batter, deep fried light golden brown and chopped in two halves. The crab’s shells, particularly the legs, yielded with a quick crunch, the interior was creamy and rich in lush crab flavor, all housed in a thin layer of crispy tempura. The result was crabby perfection. General rule: when soft shell crabs are offered, don’t think, just say ‘Yes!’

My friend’s entrée, Miku’s Fire Wok, was a stir-fry of seafood and vegetables drenched in spicy Thai curry and served in a blazing hot earthenware bowl. Juicy shrimp abounded. Large cubes of meaty tofu and smaller chunks of softened eggplant, bright green peapods, shreds of carrot, strips of onion and lemongrass and sweet green pepper crowded around sea scallops and copy crab. All of it bathed in lustrous spicy-hot curry broth. 

Miku’s Bento Box

A bowl of rice provided brief respite from the spiciness of Fire Wok, but the flavor of Miku’s Thai curry was seductive. It was an excellent choice, and I was beginning to suspect that was true of most of Miku’s menu. Certainly, it was the case with my choice, the Miku Bento Box.

Miku’s bento boxes feature a wide range of proteins, I chose sashimi. But first, before the bento box appeared, our waiter presented a bowl of miso soup and salad. The flavor of most Miso soup is so fragile that I almost immediately forget about it. Not Miku’s. Their broth had a sturdy flavor, perhaps pork, and was studded with perfectly-shaped cubes of tofu so tiny that four could fit into a pea.


The salad, chopped iceberg, cucumber slices, a grape tomato and shreds of carrot, was coated in a dressing of grated ginger. Like hundreds I’ve been served, but tastier than the others.

Then, chopsticks in hand, I received my bento box. Each of Its classic red enamel compartments contained artful arrangements, but my focus turned immediately to the sashimi. Slices of ruby-red maguro, snow white swordfish, buttery-soft salmon and, unexpectedly, meaty albacore. Ten perfectly fresh slices, kitted with pickled ginger and a big dab of wasabi.

Other compartments contained a California roll, golden nuggets of fried tofu with a spring roll, and a large scoop of steamed rice. The other star attraction was the tempura compartment. Two large shrimp were coated with a crumbly breading and deep fried. The vegetables, though, were coated in that same light crisp tempura batter as with the crab appetizer.

Large discs of zucchini, sweet potato, and nutty-flavored taro root, each encased in crispy-thin tempura batter, quick-fried in perfectly clean oil that left no oily aftertaste. Miku’s tempura reminded me of business trips to Pittsburg when my workmates and I would race to Kiku Japanese Restaurant in Market Square for tempura so crisp and lacy-thin it reminded me of gothic tracery.

That set a high standard very few tempuras have matched. Till now, that is. Miku’s came the closest to that gold standard.