Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kappaya - Japanese Soul Food

I'm one of those people who really like to plan their days out, so since my mum suggested we go yum cha yesterday I thought we would go through with it today. But due to some last minute problems, that had to be cancelled.

But since I did have to go to the Abbotsford Convent for a videogame tournament, my mum thought it might be a good idea to check out Kappaya, which the last time we went, was still on Johnson St.

Whilst the old joint was small, cosy and quite earthy...I would describe the place as feeling very 'warm', this new joint is, well the insides are still quite small (which I'm not pointing out as a bad thing) but there is a lot of additional outside sitting space, which would've been perfect on a day like today.

And whilst a lot of the interior still had a lot of the quirks that the previous Kappaya had, with rice-paper menus written on with ink, wooden boards and adorable ceramic lamps, it wasn't quite as warm and cosy as before. It might've been the tiles or the spanking clean and shiny new kitchen...but that's just me nitpicking.

What I am really very quite sad about that they stopped doing their brown rice onigiri balls. They used to have a variety of flavoured onigiri, made with brown rice and you would pick one or two to have on their own or as part of a bento box.

But now they only have bento boxes, with a choice of three 'proteins' I suppose would be the word I'm looking for.

So my mum, brother and I settled in and ordered some of the brown rice tea, which I absolutely love and mum had a very nice looking latte, which she informed me was quite strong.

They always serve the tea with a small bowl of candied walnuts...something a bit different than a little cookie. :]

My brother had the chicken bento:

Mum went for the salmon and I went for the steamed vegetable.

Well as you can see, it's all exactly the same other than the 'protein'. And although I think that the steamed vegetable option could use a little more veggies, considering it's the same price as the salmon and chicken, it was all very tasty.

I loved that my steamed vegetable selection included sweet potato and pumpkin, and cooked long enough so it was lovely and soft. I also absolutely love the brown rice with grains through it, it's so nutty and flavorsome and it's nice to feel like you're eating something good for your body!

For dessert, since my brother tends to eat like a horse....we opted for the macha mousse with honeyed biscuits.

It was delicious and creamy and not overly sweet. The biscuits were a lovely touch too!

So whilst I enjoyed my meal at Kappaya very much and will likely be back since I've decided I"m quite fond of the Abbotsford Convent (the bakery there is great as well!), I do very sorely miss the onigiri and the hippy, laid back charm the old place had.

1 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford Vic 3067

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