Marissa Carruthers and Rudi Towiro discover a fusion of Japanese and French cuisines at Miam Miam in Aeon Mall.
Combining the fresh flavours of Japan with French artisanal cooking techniques, Miam Miam presents a mouth-watering medley of tastes in an environment inspired by the kissatens, or teahouses, that first opened on the cherry blossom-lined streets of Tokyo in 1888.
The Aeon Mall eatery has retained all of their old-school charm and elegance, while injecting a dose of the modern world through its contemporary décor. Sticking to kissaten tradition, the restaurant serves up delicate hand-made desserts, fragrant teas and strong dark coffees. Heartier dishes also follow in the footsteps of the traditional teahouses, which evolved into offering main courses such as Japanese-style pastas and kare raisu (Japanese curry and rice).
Paying tribute to the introduction of French flavours to Japan, Miam Miam serves up delicacies such as fluffy soufflés, chocolate fondants, creamy fondants and crusty French bread.
“We are a French café with a Japanese twist and bring to diners the best of both cuisines. Our chefs also bring their own unique flavour to the recipes,” says Denise Lum, operations manager.
Take the gooey riz noir ($11.50), or black rice. The grains are mixed with squid ink and served in a pot with small cuts of squid and shrimp, topped with a fried egg. The smoothness of the egg, mixed with the sourness of the rice and accompanying seafood make it a perfect fusion of flavour and texture. Then there’s the signature Miam Miam spaghetti ($8.90) – a healthy portion of pasta served with chunky slices of Frankfurter sausage, tomatoes and bacon. Tossing the strands with French butter, shoyu (a type of soy sauce) and a “secret” broth give a subtle kick to the dish.
The lobster bisque pasta ($13) consists of spaghetti doused in a rich soup that has been slow-cooked to infuse fragrant flavours. Juicy chunks of lobster and prawns sit on top, with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over.
But it’s the soufflé pancakes that prove how the two cuisines can fuse. Each sees a thick, fluffy pancake doused with topping. Despite their size, the pancakes are light and steer away from being on the too sweet side by the choice of flavours – original ($2.90), cream cheese ($3.90) and matcha ($4.90), made with Japanese green tea.
It’s well worth the 20-minute wait for the dish, as each is made from scratch and proves the perfect way to sneak in a bit of final indulgence at the end of a meal. “Our pride comes from the ingredients we source, which are always fresh and of high quality, and that’s why people keep coming back,” Lun says. And with the restaurant teeming, it seems they’ve found a recipe for success.