Miyama: Time-trap (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.