Have you ever wanted to travel to Japan but have never been able to justify the costs? Why not experience an authentic Japanese High Tea right in the centre of your hometown, Adelaide, at Ginza Miyako restaurant? Believe us, this little slice of Japan in Adelaide is totally worth your time.
Last Sunday, we were invited to an incredible Japanese High Tea for lunch at Ginza Miyako located level one of Stamford Plaza Adelaide. Stepping into the restaurant, we walked past a bamboo-lined entrance to meet a wood-panelled door, with pebbles and plants decorating the quaint little space somewhat like a day spa. The restaurant area itself had a brilliant view overlooking North Terrace and the Parliament House, revealed by ceiling-to-floor windows that reached right across from both ends of the restaurant.
The décor and background music made for a relaxing atmosphere, with light classical piano soothing the ear and dim yellow lighting setting the mood. Japanese artwork covered the walls, as paintings of cherry blossom trees branched across sliding doors and sea waves splashed some colour into the restaurant.
We were shown through to a sectioned-off dining area where we were asked to remove our shoes and step up into a room that featured unique in-floor dining tables and wooden floorboards. This seating arrangement mimicked a traditional Japanese dining set up, making it look as if patrons were, in fact, kneeling on the floor as they ate. The moment we stepped into our table, we felt cosy and secluded from the rest of the restaurant, making the experience inherently personal and intimate – the perfect date setting with a twist.
A glass of Angas Brut Chardonnay Pinot Noir was poured for us on arrival, refreshing our palates in preparation for the feast to come. Lovely waitresses dressed in colourful kimonos came over to give us efficient and knowledgeable service on the food we would be eating on the day. We especially loved that Japanese green tea and coffee was offered unlimited as part of the High Tea package!
Out came two large Bento Boxes as part of the High Tea savouries, including assorted sushi, tempura and sashimi, teriyaki chicken and salmon, karaage bites, Japanese omelettes, chicken sandwiches, saba noodle bowls, salmon tartare and prawn Japanese escabeche. It was truly a Japanese culinary heaven. We particularly favoured the kingfish, tuna and salmon sashimi pieces, which came out extremely fresh accompanied by a delightfully firm texture.
After feasting on our Bento Boxes fit perfectly sized for two, we ordered a hot pot of Japanese green tea which infused rice and seaweed for a distinctly roasted taste. We were then offered our dessert box, which included a range of interesting sweets such as black sesame tiramisu, white sesame creme brulee, roasted green tea cream pastry puffs, green tea ice cream, Yuzu panna cotta, green tea chiffon cake, red bean chocolate cake and plum wine chocolate mousse. Many of the flavours were unfamiliar, and perhaps at times suited to more of an acquired taste, but this really contributed to the authenticity of the experience. We were surprised at how much we enjoyed the unique black sesame tiramisu cake.
Ginza Miyako will host a High Tea once every month, usually on the third Sunday of the month. Head Chef Kazu changes the items depending on what is in season to create using the freshest and best ingredients possible. If a traditional Japanese luncheon is what you desire, or perhaps just a change from your regular burger and beer joint, then make sure to visit Ginza Miyako on the 21st of August or 18th of September for the next High Tea. You won’t regret it!