Oh, deep Japanese food-loving joy. I think I have found my perfect Japanese restaurant in London! It’s called Miyako! It’s near both mainline and Underground stations and is a little gem. All of that with a fine chef and food to match, at a price that won’t make one’s eyes water!
Miyako’s Head Chef Kosei Sakamoto hails from Kyushu in Southern Japan. He eventually moved to Tokyo to continue his dream of a life as a chef. Chef Sakamoto’s career brought him to London and eventually to Miyako, and I am so pleased that it did.
This is a small and casual restaurant attached to the polished Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street. The open kitchen takes up half the space and it serves the restaurant as well as offering takeaway, which is a handy facility for hungry office workers.
We chose the unique dining suggestion of an all-you-can-eat afternoon menu. It presents some of the best dishes from the full menu and at a very reasonable price. Each platter is beautifully presented and cooked or formed with care in true Japanese fashion.
Would convert even the most ardent carnivore
Guests order a selection of three dishes at a time. When those are gone, they are free to order three more and can continue like that for an hour and a half. We selected ubiquitous miso soup. We enjoyed prawn and pork gyoza and zesty Japanese pickles, and oshi dashi spinach which should be a signature dish at Miyako. This would convert even the most ardent carnivore to the occasional veggie dish. It seems like such a simple preparation, but it is outstanding.
Our next dishes included soft avocado maki, fresh cucumber maki, my favourite spicy salmon maki, popular California roll, and colourful Miyako roll. Sushi lovers wouldn’t be disappointed if they followed our choices of salmon sushi, prawn sushi, and tamago (sweet omelette) sushi which was substantial.
Tempura is a must-try at Miyako. Tempura moriawase (assorted) was a tempura plate of crunchy vegetables; but the tempura star was seafood kakiage, a new one on me. Kakiage is a kind of tempura dish made of chopped vegetables and seafood in the traditional light batter. I am tempted to order this twice on my next visit – for next visit there will surely be. It is a round of fried food rather than the more predictable tempura, where slices of vegetables or fish are individually cooked.
Three different styles for just a tenner
Japanese sake lovers are not forgotten, and they even give those unfamiliar with Japan’s national drink a chance to learn. One can enjoy a sake flight of three different styles for just a tenner. I am sure guests will be surprised how different these can be. If you just want to try one sake then go for Honjozo which is a perfect choice to go with the food, and particularly the tempura.
Chef Kosei Sakamoto deserves to be proud of Miyako. It is indeed small but tastefully unassuming. The decor is simple but the seating comfortable. It is a perfect design for the location. The prices are very reasonable for such quality food and especially for the Bottomless Japanese Lunch. It’s a great concept and well executed.
Bottomless Japanese late lunch from 14:30 to 17:30
Monday to Saturday: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Miyako Sushi Restaurant
40 Liverpool Street