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Contemporary Japanese Deli

Home > Adelaide > Cafes | Food and Wine | Lunch
by Reductio ad absurdum (subscribe)
I walk around Adelaide with a camera and a tripod. www.edmundkhoophotography.com Getty Images: https://tinyurl.com/ycg9zne3
Published August 25th 2019
Contemporary Japanese Classics for Lunch
It's midday and the Market Plaza Food Court is buzzing.

Trays clatter on tables. Murmured conversations. Orders. A booming laugh. Shouts. Cutlery on plates.Three Cantonese Chicken and some dumplings. Steamed, not fried. Vinegar on the side. A large group by the Korean outlet. Where's the chilli oil? Soup sloshing by Laksa house. Order 17? 17? 17! Blank stares. Leave the bok choi cooling by the chopsticks. Cool hair. Sunglasses. A napkin on the floor by a tteokbokki. Crushed. Look Mum it's a bird! Cute sparrow. Ugly pigeon. Wait, does this have peanuts? Are you sure? Almost familiar faces, glimpsed. Something falls and shatters. Muffled curses. Coconut water? Yeah, Mr Viet in the corner. No, not that one. Did I order this? Something steaming passes by. Divine. Pungent. Both. Neither. Yes, it does.

Owa-san is from Shinjuku, Tokyo, but he's lived and worked in countless other places in Australia and Japan, where he tells me that, among other things, he was a sushi chef.

Contemporary Japanese Deli Curry Ramen Takoyaki Okonomiyaki Japan Food Central Market Adelaide City Noodles
Contemporary Japanese Deli

"You can get something just as good for one-tenths the price!" he exclaims, looking at a photo from a recent omakase in Tokyo. He laughs and scribbles down orders on a notepad. "Our ramen here is already more on the firm side," he says, more seriously.

Contemporary Japanese Deli Curry Ramen Takoyaki Okonomiyaki Japan Food Central Market Adelaide City Noodles
Miso Ramen


Contemporary Japanese Deli Curry Ramen Takoyaki Okonomiyaki Japan Food Central Market Adelaide City Noodles
Miso Ramen


Contemporary Japanese Deli Curry Ramen Takoyaki Okonomiyaki Japan Food Central Market Adelaide City Noodles
Shoyu Ramen


Contemporary Japanese Cafe is a relative newcomer to the Market Plaza Food Court, but its older cousin in Da Costa Arcade, with a larger menu not served on trays, has been a popular option with lunchtime crowds searching for delicious ramen at affordable, Tokyo-equivalent prices.

The menu, at least in Market Plaza Food Court, comprises a series of Japanese Curries and Ramen, with side dishes of Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki.

A flawless mound of rice is surrounded by a moat of thick, rich, sweet and salty curry drizzled with Japanese Worcestershire sauce. A panko crumbed Tonkatsu pork cutlet has a delightfully crispy exterior surrounding a juicy, not oily, interior. It's a filling meal with a spicy, complex, flavourful kick. Other curry variations present include vegetables, chicken, beef, cheese, meatballs, prawns and korokke croquettes as accompaniments.

Contemporary Japanese Deli Curry Ramen Takoyaki Okonomiyaki Japan Food Central Market Adelaide City Noodles
Tonkatsu Curry Rice


The ramen is lighter but equally delicious; umami broth coating the noodles and a single melt-in-the-mouth slice of char siu. Sliced bamboo shoots and blanched bean sprouts provide a welcome change in texture, with colourful and piquant pickled ginger against two slices of whirlpool shaped narutomaki fishcakes. The egg is hard-boiled, not a ramen egg. Other broths available include sea-salt, chicken, curry, soy sauce and seafood bases.

Contemporary Japanese Deli Curry Ramen Takoyaki Okonomiyaki Japan Food Central Market Adelaide City Noodles
Takoyaki


The takoyaki? A generous piece of octopus enrobed in a perfectly molten ball of batter, slathered in Japanese mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and topped with paper-thin Katsuoboshi flakes. Delicious.

Contemporary Japanese Deli Curry Ramen Takoyaki Okonomiyaki Japan Food Central Market Adelaide City Noodles
The Ubiquitous Orange Market Plaza Food Court Tray


If you're in Central Market and searching for a satisfying and sustaining lunch at a good price, Contemporary Japanese Deli is well worth a look.
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Why? For a Contemporary Classic Japanese Lunch
When: Lunchtime
Phone: (08) 7226 1952
Where: T18 Market Plaza Food Court, 61-63 Grote Street Adelaide 5000
Cost: Around $10 for Ramen and Curry
Your Comment
Nice article. I like your writing style, it really brings the scene to life.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7237) 56 days ago
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