As far as comfort food goes it doesn’t get much better than an egg sandwich. But there’s nothing “grab and go” about Yuna’s tamago (egg) sando, an ultra-comforting beast of a sandwich that requires a seat at the table, two hands and your full attention.

Two thick slices of fluffy shokupan (traditional Japanese milk bread) bookend a whole soft-boiled egg and creamy egg salad. The sandwich arrives with a side of fries topped with salted nori.

“We want to share a different side of Japanese food with Adelaide,” Yuna founder Mia Zhang tells Broadsheet. “Dishes that are common street or ‘homey’ foods in Japan. Things they eat every day.”

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Zhang has worked in Adelaide’s hospitality scene for a decade, initially earning a crust as a part-time barista during her studies, before opening Little Canton on Henley Beach Road, and the CBD’s Bar La Vi which she co-ran for two years before stepping away to open Yuna.

The cafe-meets-restaurant is serving takes on brunch classics like smashed avo with a wasabi, feta and furikake twist atop the soft, slightly sweet shokupan bread. “To get bread with the right texture, we tried most suppliers in Adelaide. Eventually, Kent Town’s J&D Cake Lab customised some for us. We don’t want to just use white bread. We want to deliver the same sando experience as you’d find in Japan.”

The breakfast menu includes a French toast croissant with black sesame crema and teishoku; a delightful Japanese breakfast set with shiozake (salted) salmon, tamago, miso soup and house-made pickle. Lunch spans okonomiyaki waffles, fried chicken karaage, cold soba noodles and sandos including pork katsu and Tokyo smash Wagyu beef patty. Both ramen and the sandos are available until sold out. 

“Our Yuna broth is made using traditional chazuke [rice in broth] cooking methods. It’s a daily comfort food in Japan. Traditional tea broth might seem too clean or minimal for people who aren’t used to eating rice in broth, so we put a twist on the traditional recipe to achieve more interesting flavours.”

Onigiri is also a highlight. “The Japanese snack is made from rice formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes and often wrapped in nori. The rice is usually seasoned with salt and sometimes mixed with other ingredients such as cooked fish, pickled vegetables or furikake.”

Specialty brews by Ona Coffee and house-made iced drinks, including peach iced tea and a bright green “matcha cloud” topped with cheese foam, add a bit of aesthetic fun to it all. For boozy accompaniments, there’s wine by small-batch producers like Yetti and the Kokonut, Palmetto Wine Co, Alpha Box & Dice, and Konpira Maru Wine Company.

Yuna Cafe & Restaurant
Shop 7/34 Henley Beach Road, Mile End
0421 288 391

Mon to Fri 7.30am–3pm
Sat & Sun 8am–2pm