Saturday, June 25, 2016

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki, Southbank by Bilby Blue

A cultural immersion at the Art Book Fair at the NGV left Benny and me in the mood for a proper sit-down lunch (ie not the food court) but we didn’t want to spend too much. Although there are heaps of eateries in the Southbank precinct, it was also getting very late for lunch and options were becoming more limited as the lunchtime services were coming to a close.

Miyako has a reputation for being expensive, but a quick study of the menu displayed by the door showed that with careful planning (namely, go for lunch rather than dinner) it is definitely possible to dine there for a reasonable price. Plus if you manage to score one of the tables by the window – as we did by lunching very late – your meal will come with a spectacular view over the river.

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki, baby octopus
Baby octopus with sansho pepper and soy sauce kushi

The best suggestion for the hungry and budget conscious: look to either the “sets” or the bento boxes. These are great value for money as they give you a number of separate dishes that will make up a very substantial meal. An added bonus for those unfamiliar with Japanese food is that these options will also ensure that the flavours of the different dishes complement each other, giving a great introduction to Japanese cuisine.

These same strategies worked really well when I travelled to Tokyo (loved it!). Yes, prices can be stratospheric, but lunches are often a fraction of the price of evening meals, yet with the same amazing quality. It was a few years ago, but my most memorable meal in Tokyo was a set menu of exquisite dishes in a traditional Japanese setting surrounded by a landscaped garden – my budget stretched to lunch but dinner was way out of reach.

However we weren’t quite hungry enough for a bento box, so we each chose one of the donburi, which are various tasty things served on a large bowl of rice. These came with a bowl of miso soup and some pickles – with prices ranging between $14 and $20 this was terrific value especially given the ambience and great service.

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki, miso soup
The miso soup was excellent – a mild, savoury broth with hints of the sea, complete with seaweed and delicate cubes of tofu. Unexpectedly, we were also served an appetiser – a tiny mouthful of tasty fishiness.

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki, pork
For his choice Benny couldn’t go past the Tonkatsu Pork Don – deep fried pork belly with egg and onion. The meaty pork belly was perfectly cooked – juicy and tender, encased in a crisp light panko crumb. The egg and onion absorbed the lovely pork juices and provided a very moreish accompaniment to the rice.

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki, mushroom and tofu
I opted for the Mushroom and Tofu Don – a lovely variety of textures from a mixture of different mushrooms together with super silky tofu in umami-rich gravy that was just perfect to mix through my rice.

We also ordered two of the kushi – grilled or fried savoury skewers, ideal for sharing, and ranging between $6 and $14 for a serve (which consists of two skewers). Baby octopus with sansho pepper and soy sauce was meltingly tender and wonderfully spicy (see first pic).

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki, salmon
Our second kushi – yuzu marinated salmon with yuzu-kosho (citrus chili paste) – was similarly excellent, skewers of buttery salmon and redolent of citrus and the sea. Only a tiny amount of the chili (served on the side) was needed – it was super hot.

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki, Southbank
This proved to be plenty for our lunch – we were happy and replete. Total cost for two was just over $50, which we considered to be good value for the food, service, ambience and river views.

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki, Southbank


We loved it
We loved it.


Such a premium location often comes with matching prices, but if you aren’t up for a big splurge Miyako’s lunch options deliver great value-for-money.

While we didn’t use it for this meal, the 2016-17 Entertainment Book has a dining offer for Miyako.  You get 25% off your total bill up to a value of $40.  Click on these links to find out how we're raising money for FareShare by asking our dear readers to buy a copy of the 2016-17 Entertainment Book.

Find it at

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki
UR2, Upper Level
Southgate Arts & Leisure Precinct
3 Southgate Avenue
Southbank Vic 3006
Phone: (03) 9699 9201

Miyako Japanese Cuisine & Teppanyaki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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