One of Margaret River’s quintessential dining experiences, built on a sense of place and an eager appetite for Japanese culinary interpretation.

A restaurant that’s managed to maintain its status as the hot ticket in Margaret River through its handle on artful tempura, Mikihito Nagai’s eponymous open kitchen has a legion of fans. No wonder, since the Japanese chef has installed himself deeply in the region, carving out relationships with growers such as Burnside Organic Farm’s resident horticulturist Jema McCabe, to give his food a real sense of place.

While the offer encompasses different degustations, there’s an overriding casual vibe, evidenced by a multi-course kids’ option. At the other end of the scale, there’s “Miki’s Complete,” running to seven or eight courses of multiple items.

A restaurant that’s managed to maintain its status as the hot ticket in Margaret River through its handle on artful tempura, Mikihito Nagai’s eponymous open kitchen has a legion of fans.

Dishes may incorporate produce grown-to-order by McCabe and others, as well as the likes of Augusta whiting (presented with pickled vegetables and wasabi oil), Abrolhos Island scallops (fried in a delicate tempura batter and seasoned with mushroom salt) and WA pork and lamb.

A seat at the counter is preferable, though the raised aspect of the compact room ensures all spots have a view of Miki’s efficient brigade at work. In recent years the drinks program has taken a step up, with a “Miki’s Pairing Option” that incorporates the region’s premium wines, or imported sake.

What makes the experience at Miki’s so compelling isn’t just this incremental improvement, but the energy that Nagai himself brings. Cherish it.