Mii & U Oriental near Bradwell Abbey is one of Milton Keynes’ best-kept secrets. It fulfils what I’d define as a real hidden gem, a totally unassuming canteen-style diner that serves absolutely incredible dishes from across East and South East Asia. It’s the independent restaurant I’ve visited the most over the longest period of time – I often remember seeing a friend who lived in Bancroft during the school holidays and we’d cycle past the Roman Villa and the Concrete Cows to eat lunch at Mii & U. At 15, I can’t say my tastes were as developed, but I distinctly remember always ordering a chilli chicken dish, spring rolls and prawn toast whilst absolutely marvelling at the fact I could eat so much and still come home with change. Food holds so many memories for me and I think that’s why Mii & U holds such a place in my heart as a great place to eat, and in the hearts of my fellow foodies in Milton Keynes.
Although we regularly frequent Central Oriental (the supermarket next door which is an absolutely treasure trove for your East and South East Asian cooking supplies), it had been some time since our last visit to Mii & U so we decided to head there for a spontaneous lunch out. It’s worth saying that this is our favourite cuisine to eat and cook at home – we love Bao, gyoza, sushi and we love cooking up our own take on poke bowls. I love learning new dishes from the east – my most recent discovery being Korean through a fantastic cooking class from local chef, Da-Hae West.
I digress. Since our last visit in April 2019, the café has had a refurbishment. During lockdown and the period of the cafés closure, the building was extended and the interior was given a huge refresh. The decor remains simplistic and very much a ‘canteen-vibe’ but that really is part of Mii & U’s charm. It is now brighter and bigger with more space to sit in larger groups and with a bigger kitchen to cater for their growing takeaway offering.
The menu remains much the same with a vast choice of dishes, all under £10. One of the best things about Mii & U is that you can eat dishes from all over Asia, from Korea to Japan to Sri Lanka to Thailand to China. It’s great for finding your feet with oriental food and there is also a great children’s menu.
I usually opt for a Pad Thai but I felt it was time to try something new, so I opted for the Chicken Laksa Ramen (£7.95). Laksa is a spicy noodle soup from Malaysia and it’s also found in other South East Asian counties including Singapore and Indonesia. This dish features a tender grilled chicken fillet in a spicy curry laksa soup with ramen noodles, coriander, spring onion, chilli, beansprouts, lime, coriander and teriyaki sauce. This is a rich, coconutty bowl of heaven. If it’s slightly cold out, this is everything you need!
Dan had the Thai Massaman Curry (£7.95) which is a rich Thai curry sauce with chicken served with a simple side of jasmine rice and salad leaves. This is a mild curry, so a great one for those who can’t handle the spice.
We also grabbed two sides: Takoyaki (£5.50) and Korean Chicken pieces (£5.50). Takoyaki is a Japanese street food that I discovered when I watched Netflix’s Street Food: Asia series. They are light batter puffs with sliced octopus inside. I can’t wait to go and eat these in Japan one day, but for now, I’ll happily make do with Mii & U and Akasaka’s versions. Mii & U serve their takoyaki with mayonnaise and Okonomi sauce (savoury) Hot, crispy with a gooey centre – these are fantastic.
The Korean Chicken pieces are simple but pack a punch! This is lightly battered chicken with a Gojuchang Korean sauce. Gojuchang is a savoury, sweet, and spicy fermented sauce that is used in Korean cooking. I highly recommend adding it to your cupboard because I now use it in everything! You can buy it from Oriental Central.
In case you didn’t realise, I love Mii & U and nearly everyone in my community group agreed too! With great value, delicious food, and a totally unassuming interior, Mii & U is truly one of Milton Keynes’ original, independent hidden gems.
You can order takeaway (collection only) or eat in. Mii & U is open Monday – Wednesday 11:30am – 4:30pm and Thursday – Saturday 11am – 9pm. Central Oriental Supermarket is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. To view the menu, head to their website: www.miiandu.co.uk. Follow this link for directions.
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