Boasting minimalist yet contemporary decor, Miyama radiates comfort through the concept of uchi, meaning home in Japanese, the main elements being warm wood tones, mood inspired lighting and cozy fabrics. Although it is set up as a café, it also serves food with a wide selection of Japanese cuisine with international flavours. Everything is aimed at providing an experience typical of a modern café in Tokyo.
My colleague and I settled down in a corner and ordered two set lunches and a salad. The salad with Moroccan spiced grilled shrimp (VND268,000) came out from the kitchen first, followed by our sets displayed on two wooden trays. Each tray had the same eye-catching decoration with white rice steamed with mushrooms, pickles, salad and a main course. While I filled up with Japanese stewed pork (VND198,000), my colleague chose steak sukiyaki with roasted red pepper and feta bruschetta (VND328,000).
The salad was an excellent combination of flavours — spicy and juicy grilled shrimps, fresh and crunchy lettuce, and sour pomelo and mango, mixed with a well-prepared yogurt dressing. The pork and beef were tender and well-marinated, the pork incredibly tasty and aromatic. The beef was covered with a crispy crust, creating the perfect balance of texture and taste when combined with the moist meat inside.
According to head chef, Canadian Avi Sternberg who trained and worked in Japan for eight years, the products and ingredients here have clear origin labels and are carefully selected to ensure quality. The microbiological pork comes from Vietnam with the pigs raised according to Japanese techniques and supervision. The Kobe-style beef is imported from Japan, and the organic vegetables come from Miyama’s own exclusive garden in Dalat. The health aspect is also expressed through the precisely calculated portions of the set lunch; clients get a large enough portion to be satisfyingly full, but not too much to feel heavy.
The Sweet Touch
It would be a big mistake if you miss out on the dessert. Indeed, a centrepiece of the cafe is the large marble bar space for desserts, with some of the dishes made live. Cakes are baked daily, as are the mocha, which come out tender, chewy and fresh.
We ordered a plate of Matcha Saint Honoré (VND168,000) and Japanese mochi (VND218,000) before we left. While the choux was a mixture of the crunchy outer dough and the fat and creamy matcha filling, the mochi was a selection of four seasonal flavours stuffed inside four soft and chewy balls. Heaven! — Vu Ha Kim Vy
Miyama Café is located on Floor 3, Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, Q1, HCMC
Photos by Bao Zoan