A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published November 17th 2014
The Masters of Matcha
If you have a soft spot for cute Japanese meals, drinks and desserts then you will adore Chanoma Cafe in Regent Place. The cafe is quaint, authentic and claims to be the master of matcha. With Western-inspired savoury food also on the menu, Chanoma caters to all palates.
Matcha parfait - complete with fruit, taro balls and pocky sticks.
Hot dogs & shaken fries
Let's start with the savoury food on offer in this cosy cafe that resembles the streets of Japan. Chanoma has a unique list of hot dogs, with ingredients like Kransky sausages, cheese, teriyaki chicken, canellini beans and shrimp. They have done well with producing a Japanese interpretation of a classic Western dish.
Chanoma Cheese Dog, Teriyaki Chicken Dog with tartar sauce & salt and pepper shaken fries.
We went for the Chanoma Cheese Dog and Teriyaki Chicken Dog. The bread with a hint of sweetness was complemented well by the salty fillers. The flavours of the mozzarella, salsa and tangy cabbage in the the Chanoma Cheese Dog were delicious together. The same went for the sweet teriyaki thighs together with the salty tartar.
We had the perfect side as well - shaken fries! We had the less exotic option, but let me just say, why don't people add pepper to fries more often? I need to return soon to try the other flavours. I can't wait to see how awesome the crunchy potato will taste with wasabi, soy & seaweed, teriyaki, or chill & garlic.
The icon of Chanoma Cafe is Japanese matcha green tea. There is an extensive list of hot and cold green tea-infused drinks. Imagine your basic coffee menu. Here you will find almost all the matcha equivalents.
Get back to basics and try simple green tea, espresso-style. Be warned though it's quite bitter - don't recommend having this alongside a dessert. Alternatively you can try a matcha latte, cappuccino, float (with ice-cream inside, like an affogato), or frappe. I had the Oreo matcha frappe which was a tasty mixture of cookies and cream and green tea. I think the green tea kept it from being over-the-top sweet.
In addition to matcha there are some other Japanese delicacies turned beverages for you to try. Azuki, i.e. red bean, is similarly available in latte and frappe form. I would love to try the Honey Yuzu Frappe in the near future, and also the homade yuzu lemonade - I wonder how the taste differs from standard lemonade.
Last but not least are the generous desserts. I am especially talking about the parfait which I shared with a friend. All parfaits are matcha-based and only vary by having more/less fruit, taro, and chocolate. We highly enjoyed ours - the standard matcha parfait. The sweet green tea ice-cream with waffle ice cream, taro balls, fruit and pocky sticks were a divine combination.
Oreo Matcha Frappe, Matcha Parfait, and simple Matcha espresso.
There are smaller desserts too for those who can't stomach the rich parfaits. If you want to keep it simple, a green tea soft serve will never go wrong.
Whenever you feel like a cute, convenient and cheap feed or thirst-quencher, Chanoma on George St has you covered. 'Cheap' is key here by the way. I was surprised to find the top price on the menu was around $9. The savoury foods, drinks and desserts were generally $3-$4 with a few things also $6.