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With Toshiba’s UK headquarters nearby, it’s not surprising that this unreconstructed Japanese restaurant is popular with the local corporate crowd. Kimono-clad waitresses provide formal, ultra-polite service and the decor has hardly changed in nearly 30 years – so pull up a stool at the sushi counter or consider some theatrical, freshly sizzled teppanyaki prepared by knife-wielding chefs. For those who fancy something more elaborate, there’s a slightly-too-bright basement room where punters can work their way through soups, rice and noodle specialities, plus dishes such as chawan mushi (savoury egg custard), breaded pork tonkatsu, beef teriyaki or grilled sea bass fillet with salt. Bento boxes suit the lunchtime crowd and the sushi ‘happy hour’ brings nigiri from £1.50 a piece. To drink, check out the three-shot saké flights from a helpfully annotated drinks list.
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09 May 2017
I lasted visited Miyama around a decade ago. It was very good then and it was pretty much as I remembered when recently making a return visit. Almost nothing had changed. This is not an exaggeration or under-statement. Part of the charm of Miyama is that it remains steadfast, stuck in time and relentlessly unchanging. Fashionable it is not, but if you are after top-class Japanese food, then this is one of the best places to come. Miyama is located on an unremarkable side-street sandwiched between St Paul’s and the north side of the Millennium Bridge. Although there is apparently a sushi bar upstairs, on the occasion of my most recent visit (and in every previous instance), I was shown downstairs to the main dining room. This may perhaps be a somewhat generous term: picture a room with no natural light, a grey-green carpet most likely from the 1980s and just a few mirrors and prints on the wall. This is about as far away from Nobu or Zuma as one can imagine. Our waiter proceeded to bring us our menu, encased in faux-leather folders. By now, you get the picture. The food, however… and wow is probably the best epithet to use. Being lunchtime we selected the house bento box (priced reasonably, at £30). It was presented beautifully and comprised five segments, ranging from amazingly fresh sashimi through to palate-cleansing fruit at the end. Along the way, the grilled eel on rice was the standout option. It certainly tasted as good as anything enjoyed in Japan. For those keen to order a la carte, there is also a wide menu from which to choose. Based on the quality of our lunchtime fare, it is unlikely to disappoint.
18 May 2011
I was impressed by this restaurant, notwithstanding the lack of atmosphere in its unremarkable downstairs restaurant.
The reasons why: respectful, attentive service from people who seemed to care whether we liked the food or not, coupled with authentic cooking and wonderfully tasty food.
I had lunch there this week with a friend with whom I go back a long way. He had chosen the venue as he had previously enjoyed it on a couple of occasions. We ordered a variety of dishes to share and we were impressed by almost all. The value for money was also very good given the high quality. Especially enjoyable were the warm spicy tempura prawn roll (outstanding !), the sea bass sashimi (the sauce made the dish), the sea weed salad which was refreshing with the chicken terriaki… all ingredients seemed fresh and cooked with care and not on an industrial scale. There other tables were largely busy, but the place remained calm. We were not hurried and we were served with a smile.
OK, so not a romantic or modernistic venue (downstairs, anyway), but for food and service… well, I liked it.
14 October 2009
I found this place through friend, the waitresses are friendly but they seem like they don't do much. I have been a few times to the sushi bar and the fish is excellant, fresh and tasty, i recommend it to anyone who loves sushi. The music could be louder though. It is full of regulars and the sushi bar may be a nice way to meet people too.
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