We went to both of these restaurants for the first time recently. At Miyabi, which is right across from Value Village, south of Southcenter, we started out with a spinach mushroom salad to share. This was a real winner--a variety of sauteed mushrooms including matsutake, lightly sauteed and then poured, juices and all with a little sweetened Asian sauce--maybe plum?--atop fresh spinach leaves. Would definitely order it again. My husband then had baked oysters and a Miyabi roll. I had the Seattle nabe. The nabe was wonderful--two fresh shrimp, two plump oysters, a piece of salmon, several pieces of chicken, 4 cubes of tofu, vegetables (napa cabbage, carrot, snow pea, etc.) and yam noodles. The broth is pretty bland at the start, but by the time you're finished with the solid goodies, the broth has transformed itself into a complex tasting soup, with a hint of briny oyster. I loved it! My husband raved about his oysters but was less happy with his roll, mainly because he felt it was so crammed with seafood, it lost its lightness. Regardless, we'll be back to try more of the menu. Prices are quite reasonable.
Miyabi 45, on 45th in Wallingford, just opened a couple of weeks ago. The soba is housemade, down to grinding the buckwheat, and you can really tell the difference. The noodles have a much more defined taste and texture. Try the restaurant's signature dish--hot soba with duck and leeks. You get nice slices of juicy duck breast and a savory duck meatball on top of soba, with some leeks in the broth. Very nice! Looking forward to warmer weather, when I'll feel more like eating cold soba (you can get it cold now, if you want, in various interations). We split an arugula salad with roasted beets and gorgonzola--very tasty. Chawanmushi with matsutake is properly delicate with the custard being a bit firmer than I've had before, but very good. My one criticism is that this is going to be a pricy experience. For two of us, with two soba dishes, the salad (which we split), the chawanmushi, and two nonalcoholic beverages, the cost was around $80 including tip. And you may still be a bit hungry. Nonetheless, the menu is intriguing and we'll be back, although not as often as we might like.