The East Coast’s most up-and-coming foodie haven is located in Maine and isn’t cranking out lobster rolls and clam chowder, as you might expect. Pai Men Miyake does much more than that, standing out among the many restaurants that Portland has to offer (a tough thing to do). Next time you’re passing through the city, stop by Pai Men Miyake in the adorable Longfellow Square for a sushi bar experience that rivals Nobu.

This intimate and chic restaurant has great vibes and is always bumpin’ with chill remixes that complement the numerous twenty-somethings as well as the restaurant’s delicious and fab sushi. Grab a stool at the bar and watch the chefs at work, or sit perched at one of the high-top tables and take in the atmosphere. You really can’t go wrong when ordering off this menu. That being said, there are definitely a few must-try dishes that you shouldn’t miss, and I’m here to help.

Pre-dinner #SpoonTip: Order the yuzu lemonade for a refreshing start to your meal.

1.  Crispy Brussels Sprouts


Photo by Walker Foehl

If I was forced to eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be these Brussels sprouts. Arriving at your table steaming and smelling of soy, they are crispy and tender. The best part of this unforgettable appetizer is drinking the succulent juices that remain in the bowl after you’ve finished your brussels.

#SpoonTip: Don’t leave behind those pieces of fried cilantro that tend to hide at the bottom of the bowl.

2. Pork Buns


Photo by Walker Foehl

I don’t think you will ever taste a juicier or more tender piece of pork belly in your entire life. Not to mention, this flavorful delight is nestled into a perfectly steamed bun and topped with a dash of spicy mayo and green chili. These two-bite buns come in pairs and are excellent for pre-sushi snacks to warm up your appetite.

3. Japanese Miso Salad


Photo by Walker Foehl

If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, but still want a journey to flavor town (line borrowed from Diners Drive-ins and Dives), order the house salad. Don’t fear, this is not your typical boring, pre-dinner iceberg lettuce and drab veggie salad. You will be presented with crisp cauliflower and crunchy spinach that is topped with a creamy yet light miso dressing. I promise you, it will not disappoint.

4. The Ceviche Roll


Not only will you order this roll for the insta (because it is completely insta-worthy), but you will also order this roll for its remarkable flavors and presentation. Sticky rice and fresh toro are met with the tang of lime, cilantro, and a drizzle of truffle oil. No soy sauce or wasabi needed. Talk about a must-try! This roll leaves you satisfied and refreshed, ready for a perfect night out on the town.

5. Ramen Bowls


Photo by Nina Oleynik

This is no broke-college-days ramen that you can find in most dorm rooms, and you will be very grateful for that. The Shoyu ramen bowl erupts with flavor and is also a perfect warm-up dish for one of Maine’s many below-freezing nights. This bowl is made with chicken and soy broth, which is lighter than the other pork-based broths. The perfectly cooked noodles are accompanied by a creamy cured egg and much more.

#SpoonTip: This is a great bowl to share so that you can experience all of  the awesome other dishes without feeling like you need a forklift to get you up from the table.