In furtherance of my foodie tour of Melbourne, I recently paid a visit to the Miyako Japanese restaurant in Southgate, Melbourne CBD. Miyako in Japanese means 'beautiful night child'. And as the name suggests, Miyako Japanese restaurant is a beautiful restaurant with much to offer.
Upon arrival at the restaurant, a friendly waitress ushered us to a table of our choice handing us the bulky dinner menu. Arrested with indecision, it took us a while before we finally placed our order and eagerly waited. The restaurant was tastefully decorated with an emphasis on soft lighting. Simple black wooden tables and chairs were dotted all over the restaurant. One wall was decked with an enormous carving of the face of Lord Buddha. Seating arrangements were available next to the window and on the balcony bestowing upon the diners a panoramic view of Melbourne's skyline.
An appetiser, compliments of Miyako, soon made its appearance on our table. The seaweed salad in conjunction with the rusk biscuit was nothing short of a delight for my tastebuds. My only resentment was that the appetiser was far too tiny and left me hungrier than ever.
Our first dish, fresh oyster trio ($18), arrived with a flourish. The half dozen fresh oysters were garnished with Ponzu sauce, red wine vinegar with shallot and Worcestershire sauce with tomato. The fresh oysters were an instant hit with my palate and soon disappeared into my hungry stomach.
The whole crayfish tempura ($59) was the next dish that was delivered to our table. The crispy tempura exterior gave way to butter soft crayfish flesh. A small selection of vegetable tempura surrounded the crayfish. Flavoursome and exquisite, this dish was a foodie delight especially for seafood fans.
The crayfish tempura was followed by the yaki gyoza ($12). These pan friend dumplings were served with chilli ponzo and spicy miso soup. The ponzo was singularly scrummy. The delicate and lightly fried dumplings were simply delicious.
The quick succession of the dishes was hampered by a delay in the appearance of our last dish, the seafood fried rice. The restaurant had filled up slowly and consequently service suffered. As we awaited the fried rice, we were amused to hear squeals of laughter emanating from the Teppanayaki section of the restaurant. I made a mental note to sample their teppanayaki offerings in the future. In the meantime, our attentive waiter ensured our glasses remained full.
The seafood fried rice ($14.50) finally came accompanied by apologies from our friendly waiter. The fried rice was sticky and tantalising while the seafood was succulent and done to the level of perfection. Despite being pretty full, we managed to scoop up the last bit of the fried rice relishing every grain.
Unfortunately the highly satisfying feast left no room in our tummy for ordering anything from the tempting dessert menu.
Prime location, beautiful presentation, delectable food and friendly service are the hallmarks of Miyako. The food is by no means cheap but definitely worth a try. I will certainly return to this delightful Japanese restaurant.