Does the name sound familiar?
When I was extended an invite to try out the new menu at Ginza Miyako a fortnight ago, I thought I was getting an invite to Ginza on Unley Road(!). Just days before the proposed dinner date, I double checked my emails and came to the realisation that no, it wasn’t the Ginza on Unley Road but the ‘other’ Ginza on North Terrace on level 1 of the Stamford Plaza Hotel – Ginza Miyako. Now that would have been embarassing if we were to rock up at the wrong Ginza! Phew~ Crisis averted!
Both restaurants adopt the same name as they are both part of The Taste of Orient group, but Ginza Miyako is a more sophisticated version of its sister restaurant with a fusion of both Japanese and French cuisine. They have just recently appointed a new, young and creative chef from Tokyo to their team: Kazuki Ushiro, who has 13 years experience and has worked in restaurants in New York City, Paris, Tokyo and Melbourne.
The restaurant has 2 seperate dining areas: the usual western style with tables and chairs and the traditional Japanese style referred to as the tatami area, whereby diners take off their shoes, proceed up a small flight of stairs and sit at a low table on the floor. Traditionally, diners would sit in a proper formal position with legs crossed on the floor but there were ‘holes’ underneath the tables so we could let our feet dangle comfortably. 🙂 We chose to sit in the tatami area to get the full experience.
The staff were very accommodating and friendly, serving us drinks and making sure that we were comfortable. We were presented two entrees to start, with the chef personally coming out and explaining his creations and how both Japanese and French influences were presented on each dish.
Venison tataki; $19.00
Too pretty to eat I say!
The lightly seared venison slices were perfect and tender with crisp peppery rocket leaves sitting on top of the venison. Alongside the mound of brightness was some crunchy pickled vegetables of beetroot, baby corn and cauliflower; a smear of a smooth avocado purée and a light dressing of homemade balsamic soy and ume (Japanese plum) sauce. Wonderful!
Ocean cured confit; $16.00
Another beautifully plated dish. Just look at them vibrant colours just popping out!
Two pieces of confit cured ocean trout at 55°C with orange segments, a light fennel wakame salad, carrot purée dots, wasabi infused sour cream and finished off with some micro herbs and edible flowers. Melt, melt, melt! That was what happened when we had the ocean trout… it just melted away with each bite. We loved it and really appreciated the hint of brightness and citrus from the oranges, the fresh crunch from the the crisp fennel pieces and seaweed threads and salty bursts reminiscent of the sea from the fish roe. I couldn’t distinguish much of a wasabi hit from the sour cream but it didn’t bother me too much as it was a minor component to the overall dish.
The only way to send a plate back to the kitchen. Empty and mopped clean!
What an awesome start to the meal! We couldn’t pick a favourite out of the first two dishes and agreed that we’d come back and pay for both.
Onto the next course! 😉
Slow cooked duck breast; $34.00
Absolutely divine. The slow cooked duck breast was perfect. Just perfect. It sat on a creamy potato mash alongside ratatouille, beetroot purée and dressed with a citrus teriyaki sauce. THAT. DUCK. THAT. SAUCE. The off kilter surprise? The toasted crushed nuts and rolled oats on the side. Say what? A ‘random’ element so to speak (ie. rolled oats), but amazingly, so delicious with a hit of texture and a subtle nuttiness.
This dish totally knocked off the entrees at the top of the podium!
Wagyu sirloin steak; $45.00
Last of the mains, a charcoal grilled wagyu sirloin with potato mash, seasonal vegetables, carrot purée and red wine yuzu (Japanese citrus) chilli sauce. That wagyu was the definition of perfect. So perfect. So flavoursome. So good. The dark mash that it sat on was a potato mushroom mash which was earthy and intense, however we did find it a bit over powering and took away the spot light from the impeccable steak. Solution? Eat the steak on its own. And that’s what we did. DELISH. The best steak we’ve had in a long time.
Black sesame creme brulee; $12.00
A trio of desserts came out, black sesame creme brulee served with baby rice cakes and roasted green tea panna cotta.
Baby rice cakes
We were instructed to have the baby rice cakes first before going through the rest of the platter. These were wonderful. The slightly toasted mini rice cakes were warm, chewy and sweet. I’ve had them in different Asian desserts but never had them with a hint of char on the outside. Perhaps the rice cakes could be at one end of the plate so diners would be more inclined to work from one end of the plate to the other?
The black sesame creme brulee was a major hit with the stranger. Intense in flavour with a smidgen of salt, which only enhanced the black sesame more. Divine.
Last but not least, a French dessert.
Strawberry mille-feuille; $12.00
Mille-feuille (aka vanilla slice) is a French pastry that’s traditionally made up of 3 layers of puff pastry with layers of cream in between. Ginza Miyako’s take on the French dessert was served with fresh strawberries, rhubarb ice cream and a Japanese plum wine sauce.
View of North Terrace from the tatami room
We surely were spoilt for the evening and finished off with a hot teapot of roasted green tea.
Roasted green tea
Thank you so much Iris and the Ginza Miyako team for your kind hospitality and conversations. We had a great time!
But that wasn’t all… the week after, I was invited to attend Girl About Towns’ Eat and Tweet event at Ginza Miyako!
Talk about being super super spoilt!
Because I had already sampled some of their dishes the week prior, the very thoughtful team at Ginza Miyako organised a different menu for a handful of us so we could try the other dishes that they have on offer.
Cocktails on arrival for all!
Japanese Rice Shochu and Choya Umeshu wine
Miyako Metropolitan cocktail: Japanese Rice Shochu shaken with choya umebushu wine, lime juice and cranberry juice
To start, we were served a creamy bite sized crumbed oyster with black rice risotto, sautéed red cabbage and tartare sauce. Delish! I really enjoyed the crunch of the batter around the creamy morsel of oyster paired with the risotto whilst the red cabbage and tartare sauce balanced and brightened up the flavours.
I was so excited to see scallops on the menu – as you all know, it’s one of my favourite things!
Torched scallops and eggplant consommé jelly; $18.00
Two torched plump scallops, each one topped with a white and black sesame paste along with cubes of eggplant consomme jelly.
That scallop with the dollop of white sesame paste… oh my! It was soooo tasty. The sesame paste was punchy, nutty and intense which surprisingly complemented the fresh juicy scallop particularly well; it really brought out the ‘sea’ flavour. In comparison, the black sesame paste was a lot more subtle but still delicious. I did find that the consomme jelly was a little bit too salty for my taste buds, but with scallops like that, it didn’t bother me too much.
Blue fin tuna, king fish, salmon mix sushi
Ooh lah la… this was bombtastic! Just look at how much fish was topped on that sushi. The fresh fish pieces were mixed in a bit of creamy kewpie mayo, which was then slightly torched at the very end. Notice the subtle charred spots? Aburi sushi lovers would love this combo.
Smoked eel and cream cheese sushi
Another crowd pleaser sushi with fragrant smoked eel and cream cheese to temper down the bold flavour. Thumbs up for the extra crunch on the outside too.
Lobster gratin; $55.00
Our table was then treated to a seared lobster topped with white miso cream sauce, cheese and Japanese crumb. I’d say it’d be a nice meal for a cold night but with summer now here, I thought it was a bit heavy for my taste buds with all that cream sauce and cheese – and you know how much I love my cheese!
Black Angus beef fillet; $39.00
Last but not least, a roasted beef fillet with potato mash, seasonal vegetables, carrot purée and miso hollandaise sauce. I’ve got to say, the Ginza Miyako kitchen really knows how to cook a steak perfectly. This one was perfect, cooked medium rare. The meat was incredibly tender, juicy, succulent and well seasoned. I mean… has anyone been too afraid to order steaks at some establishments only because you’re concerned that they won’t get it right cause you’ve been burned so many times already? Steaks are something I usually avoid at restaurants/cafes as I’ve had too many ‘not good’ ones in the past, and as a result, I only have a select few go-to establishments when I’m wanting that steak fix.
Matcha green tea pudding
For dessert, a matcha pudding with yuzu white chocolate macarons were served. The cold pudding was delightful and had a strong green tea flavour but I found the macarons to be ‘crusty’ and were a bit hard to bite into. I really enjoyed the flavour combination of yuzu (citrus) and white chocolate though as the citrus notes balanced well with the sweetness of the macaron.
Ginza Miyako is one of a few restaurants in Adelaide marrying traditional Japanese and French flavours. My last experience with Japanese/French fusion cuisine was at Tetsuya’s earlier in the year – that was one memorable and epic meal! – so it’s pretty exciting to see it creep up within the Adelaide dining scene and at an affordable price too. If you love your Japanese food, it’s worth checking out Ginza Miyako whether it be for lunch or dinner. They also offer free parking at the 24 hour Wilson Car Park at 30 Hindley Street (you just have to present the ticket to staff for validation), so there’s no excuse not to check it out really.
PS. they’re also starting a ‘sake night’ on Friday and Saturdays offering bar food and sake from 10.30pm. It might be something worth checking out for a late night catch up. 😉
[dbites was invited as guests to Ginza Miyako]
Ginza Miyako Japanese Restaurant
Level 1 Stamford Plaza Hotel
150 North Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 8221 6147
Mon-Fri 12pm–2.30pm, 5.30pm–10pm