What's good here? Miyo's on Forest Drive

Special to The StateFebruary 24, 2010 

Michelle Wang, who hails from Shanghai, China, began opening Miyo's restaurants in 1996. Her goal is to bring the best of Asian cooking, culture and dining to the Columbia area. The 10-year-old location of Miyo's on Forest was recently expanded and renovated.

What's good here?

"Since we've expanded and made some innovations in the kitchen, we're able to offer more grill items, such as the Sizzling Tenderloin, with sauteed fresh mushrooms in a black pepper sauce, served over poached spinach. We also have two sushi chefs now who offer a variety of sushi. Plus, customers regularly ask for their favorites, such as the flounder dish and Triple Gourmet Bird's Nest with jumbo shrimp, chicken, beef, and mixed vegetables."

What else?

"Well, people who are health-conscious often come here. We have many regular customers. They are seeking the healthy and flavorful foods we offer. . . .Senn Brothers has always provided us with the very freshest in produce, some of which is grown in South Carolina. I learned how to cook from my family, many of whom are gourmet cooks, and I want my chefs to be not only professional Asian cooks, but to also cook with the same love and care that they would for their families.

"Everyone has his or her favorites. Some of the appetizers that are popular are the lettuce wraps with either chicken or shrimp, the beef or chicken satay . . . we have rice, noodle and wok dishes, and some specialty items are Ginger Braised Lump Crabmeat over steamed asparagus and Ginger Sauteed Fresh Duck Breast in a Hoisin Red Wine Sauce. Each of our locations has a slightly different menu."

What does the place look like now?

"We expanded into a space that was a scrapbooking retailer next door to our original location. We had 2,400 square feet and now we have 4,800 square feet and a private dining room, a sushi bar and a patio. The decor has a new color scheme, updated lighting . . . very beautiful. With the expanded space, we will be able to offer things in the future such as a sushi class for our customers."

How is your restaurant different than others?

"We combine the finest in Eastern foods with Western dining hospitality. I am an English/literature major, but I felt that Columbia would enjoy this type of dining experience. We're always trying to be a better restaurant and offer a better dining experience every day. I feel so blessed to do this and we have such great employees and customers. They inspire me every day."

Who eats here?

"At this location, we are very much supported by the locals in Forest Acres, Heathwood, Shandon and other surrounding areas. This is a regular place for families and friends to meet, for birthdays and for dates."

ABOUT MIYO'S

Locations:

- Miyo's on Forest, 3250 Forest Drive, Suite B

- Miyo's on Main, 922 S. Main St.

- Miyo's at Columbiana Place, 1220-E2 Bower Parkway

- M. Cafe on Sumter, 1417 Sumter St.

- M. Vista, 701 Lady St., Suite C

- Miyo's Sandhills, 715 Fashion Drive, Suite 1

Prices: Lunch prices are around $8 per meal, while dinner prices begin at around $10 up to about $20.

See http://miyos.com for information about hours and menu items for each location

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