Review: Mikaku, Glasgow

Ellie Forbes tries out the new menu at neo-Tokyo inspired Japanese restaurant Mikaku in Glasgow. 


I think most restaurants are trying to create a space which separates us from the world outside, an escape from the humdrum of everyday life.

So if you’re looking for a quick reprieve and a bit of fun, a trip to neo-Tokyo inspired Japanese restaurant Mikaku on Glasgow’s Queen Street, is your best bet.

You could roll your eyes at the gilded neon interiors – the floor is a faux cobbled lane bordered with communal tables under lean-to roofs – which aim to replicate the streets of inns in Japan.

But actually, if you let go and appreciate the space for what it is, it truly has the power to transport you.

Executive Chef Joe Grant has recently launched a new menu, the first in five years.

It features popular Japanese street food including Sandos – traditional milk bread sandwiches, packed with crispy deep-fried fillings and slaws.

Homemade Tsukemono (Japanese pickles), which are an important part of the Japanese diet, are now also a staple of the menu.

And a range of new Donburi dishes (Japanese rice bowls) have been added to the offering. 

We start with furikake fries, pork gyoza, and cauliflower karaage (fried florets coated in a spicy BBQ sauce), before moving onto a beef fillet skewer, glazed with ginger teriyaki.

Like any sane person, it’s impossible to side step deep fried, crispy, anything, so the cauliflower is a big hit, as are the perfectly pink, tender slices of beef on a stick. 

The portions are generous and the gyoza are some of the best I have ever had. Light and moist little parcels, but packed inside with flavour. 

Keen to try something new, I opt for a sando. The soft Japanese Shokupan bread is filled with minced tiger prawns, and spring onion, made into a patty, coated in panko and deep fried until golden brown.

It came with a delightfully tangy pickled cucumber slaw and a togarashi dip (a Japanese spice mixture).

The katsu curry had good heat, without blowing your head off.

Pleasingly, Mikaku has kept many of the favourites that customers have come to know and love, including their famous half portions of Ramen which we were quick to order.

The slices of chicken swimming in the salty broth are succulent. And the rest of it, sliced spring onions, nori, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, was all very much there. 

We rounded it off with some edamame and it’s fair to say we were well and truly stuffed.

Mikaku likes to scream that they are doing the very best in Japanese Street Food, and I can’t say I disagree.


Mikaku, 45 Queen St, Glasgow G1 3EF, 0141 243 2441.

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