Do you miss experiencing different cultures as part of your overseas holidays? As the COVID-19 restrictions will make us stay in Australia a little longer, a lot of us are trying to explore our own city and backyard to discover what we have forgotten. What if I tell you that you can travel the world thanks to Adelaide's food scene? Experience authentic cuisines from different cultures? Think you know Japanese food. Think again. A licensed dessert cafe, Matcha House on Grote Street in the city, may change your perception of Japanese food and culture, as well as nightlife in Adelaide.
Chill out in the massive elevated level of Japanese-styled pine seating area
With the Japanese heritage, the owner has created a place to hang out all night with all things matcha (green tea). This cafe only opens from 6:30pm to 10:30pm daily. What makes Matcha House stand out from the crowd is the massive elevated level of Japanese-styled pine seating area, where you will need to take off your shoes and lose yourself in the seat cushions on the floor. Make sure your feet are not smelly before you go. Otherwise, you can opt for the Western tables and benches, so as to not to embarrass yourself.
After the COVID-19 check-in, the waitress asked us where we would like to sit and also reminded us that our table would only last 90 minutes. The relaxing atmosphere convinced us to take off our shoes and jump to the Japanese-styled seating area. When we took off the shoes, it really felt like we were in a cafe in Japan. After we made our way to our table, we sank into the seat cushions and felt relaxed instantly.
Since it was our first visit, we went for the Signature Classics -Matcha Lava Cake. Knowing that we could enjoy the cosy vibe for another 90 minutes, we made the most of it by ordering this lava cake because it's baked to order. The minimum wait time is 20 minutes Another great sign that some seriously good food was about to come.
Matcha House matcha powder for sale. You can also purchase in their online store.
For drinks, there are 3 menu pages. Choose from Match-cino (cappuccino with matcha style), Matcha Bubble Tea, Houjicha (Japanese roasted tea) Latte, a pot of tea, green tea mocktails, sake and whiskey. We carefully studied the drink descriptions and decided on Matcha Latte & Houjicha Latte. I have tried beetroot latte, turmeric latte and taro latte in Adelaide but I have never heard of Houjicha Latte. I was excited to discover something new.
The Matcha Latte was what we expected, strong and bang on with matcha flavour. The Houjicha Latte was like drinking roasted tea with froth. The complex roasted tea flavour lingered on the palate after the first sip. My mind was thus taken to a far-flung teahouse in Japan.
Happy times passed quickly. Our dessert arrived. It didn't feel 20 minutes at all. The Matcha Lava Cake looked beautiful. Once we cut open the cake, the mind-blowing gooey matcha centre oozed out onto the plate. We wowed, we cheered, we hurrahed. I guess I don't need to describe further that this dish is matcha flavour heaven.
We also ordered the Ice-cream parfait which let us choose two ice-cream flavours. e picked houjicha and black sesame. One adventurous and one safe choice. This ice-cream tower came with matcha sponge cake, ice-cream daifuku (a glutinous rice dessert) and mochi candy. Mochi candy is new to me. After a bite, I could taste the chewy texture of glutinous rice dessert but the shape looked like a lolly.
Ice-cream Parfait with two ice-cream flavours, matcha sponge, ice-cream daifuku, whipped cream & topped with candy mochi and wafer.
When we left about 8.30pm, there was a queue of eager customers waiting for tables. Matcha House seems to get busier when it gets later in the night. At the counter, we noticed various types of premium grade green tea for sale. We even saw houjicha powder. That's how Houjicha Latte was made. Now, we know their secret. I wondered if we could recreate the houjicha magic at home.
Sake & whiskey on hanging shelves and premium green tea for sale in the display cupboard.
Don't forget that there is a "rule" in this café that minimum one item person. I am sure you won't have problems following this "rule". The only problem will be which item or items to order when you are in your travel mode and want to try everything.