Live-fire cooking and skyline views define the dining experience at Mizu, set to open on Thursday. Situated on the top floor of the Hyatt Centric SouthPark, Mizu is the newest restaurant from Charleston-based Indigo Road Hospitality Group, which brought Charlotte O-Ku and Oak Steakhouse.
Inspired by the wood-fired Robata grills of Japan, the seafood-forward menu will infuse Southern influences with Asian flavors and traditions of ancient Japanese cooking. Though the Robata grill method — utilizing an open flame to cook over hot coals — dates back thousands of years, executive chef Michael Chanthavong will apply the method to serve a modern seafood menu with wood-fired, chilled and raw offerings.
Among the dishes to watch out for on the Chilled and Raw menu is the Hokkaido Scallop Crudo ($19), which is drizzled with celery verde oil, sudachi (a Japanese citrus fruit), rice crackers and amazu (a Japanese sweet and sour sauce). There’s also a Prawn Cocktail ($16) with lemongrass-poached jumbo shrimp and wasabi cocktail sauce, along with Mizu Oysters ($4 each) topped with ikura (salmon roe), wasabi and chive with a soy mignonette.
Diners will find luxurious maki selections on the menu, including the Mizu Dragon ($22), stuffed with tempura shishito, citrus crab, otoro tartare (tuna) and amazu; and the Iron Man ($25), featuring spicy tuna, cucumber, shiso (a mint-like herb) and torched Wagyu beef, along with ponzu sauce. Also note the Mean Green maki ($13), with an inventive combination of crispy tofu, shishito, cucumber and salsa verde.
The real centerpiece of the food at Mizu is the Robata grill, however.
“The Robata grill serves as the main inspiration for the menu, using it to create dishes with ingredients from mushrooms to Yellowtail cheeks and lobster,” Chanthavong, formerly of O-Ku, said. “It’s been a new culinary undertaking diving into this method of grilling, and we’re eager to introduce Charlotte to this type of cooking.”
If you’re dipping your toe into Japanese cuisine, you’ll likely feel comfortable with the Yaki-Tori ($12) on the Robata Grilled menu. It’s chicken cutlets with scallions, ume teriyaki and toasted sesame. The Lobster ($26) is also a safe but luxe choice, served with truffled chive butter, citrus and XO sauce, a condiment rich with umami flavor.
There are also fun choices like the Drunken Pineapple ($11), with island spice, plantation aged rum and tahini, as well as the Tiger King ($24), a Kosho-marinated prawn with miso butter crab and mango salsa.
Beverage manager Ed Parowski will complement the menu with bright, refreshing cocktails infused with Japanese spirits and seasonal ingredients.
Visitors can sip libations with views of the Charlotte city skyline or dine inside, where the Robata grill will act as a centerpiece for a unique dining experience. Natural elements and minimalist decor will pay homage to water — the Japanese translation of “Mizu.”
The Mizu menu
Other menu highlights to try include:
Hamachi Tartare ($15)
This starter, found on the Chilled & Raw section of the menu, features mango ponzu, cilantro, Thai chili oil, olive oil and daikon chips.
Sake Tataki ($18)
This salmon app is dressed with a citric soy, ikura, daikon and truffle aioli.
Fried Soft Shell Sliders ($17)
Off the Hot & Shareable portion of Mizu’s menu, these spicy crab bites come with lemon caper aioli and butter lettuce.
Thai Stick ($14)
This Robata-grilled dish highlights sweet ginger squid with Thai chili and toasted coriander.
Duck Breast ($31)
A five spice-flavored breast of duck is paired with an orange sauce, watercress and grilled scallion on the Mains menu.
Seared Miso Sea Bass ($32)
This high-end main course comes with grilled baby bok choy, citrus zest and and a mushroom soy glaze.
Location: Inside Hyatt Centric Southpark Charlotte, 3100 Apex Drive, Charlotte, NC 28211