Friday, 15 May 2015

Chanoma Cafe, Sydney CBD

Whenever I need to grab a quick bite before heading to the movies at Event Cinemas in the CBD, or just crave a decent matcha (specially grown and processed green tea) soft serve ice cream, Chanoma Cafe is often the first place that comes to mind. Located in Regent Place on George Street, this quaint little Japanese cafe is known for serving a mix of hot and cold snacks, as well as ceremonial-grade matcha-infused beverages and desserts.

Chanoma Cafe in Regent Place on George Street

At 6pm, the cafe was already quite busy though despite a queue in sight, the turnaround time from order to serve is speedy. The menu is kept fairly simple with a good selection of hot teas and lattes (all hot drinks can be upsized to a large for an extra $1), frappes and desserts, and variety of Japa-dog or Japanese hot dog (hot dogs made with Japanese-style foods such as teriyaki and tonkatsu). The food and drinks are made on order and you're given a buzzer once your order is placed and payment made (cash only). 


Chanoma Cafe menu

Pop music fills the air giving the cafe a young and hip feel. Seating is available both indoors and outdoors though I would recommend the latter to avoid having the smell of deep fried food lingering on your clothes as Jono and I soon discovered sitting at the table next to the see-through kitchen.


Watch your food being prepared through the clear glass panes indoors

We selected a few items from the menu to share, starting off with the Creamy Shrimp Dog and Homemade Lemonade. The Creamy Shrimp Dog is a deep fried creamy shrimp croquette wedged in a soft hot dog bun with chopped cabbage and tartar sauce, topped with paprika and finely chopped parsley, and served in a cardboard container. The croquette is covered in a flaky batter giving it a delicious crunchy exterior with tender diced shrimp oozing into the mouth with each bite. I love the Homemade Lemonade (Ice) (also available hot) - a refreshing thirst quencher that is not overly sweet and a great accompaniment to the hotdog :)


Creamy Shrimp Dog ($6.90) - deep fried creamy shrimp croquette, chopped cabbage, paprika, parsley and tartar sauce

Homemade Lemonade (Ice) ($4.50)

As a Washoku Lovers member, I had the additional benefit of ordering the Washoku Lovers Selection at a special price of $9.90 which includes a Chanoma Dog, Shaked Chips, Shiratama Dango and Matcha Latte - a complete meal set that allows you to sample some of Chanoma Cafe's most popular items. The Matcha Latte (comes in regular or large size) is a nice change to my daily cup of tea, a milky matcha infusion that has its own unique vegetal sweet taste; this sweetness and the vibrant green colour of the beverage are key indicators that only top quality matcha is used at the cafe.


Matcha Latte (R) ($4.20)

The Chanoma Dog is made up of a Kransky sausage, curry-flavoured cabbage and salsa sauce wedged in a soft hot dog bun - much stronger in flavour in comparison to the Creamy Shrimp Dog and has quite a spicy kick to it. Our Shaked Chips comes in the basic salt and pepper seasoning but for an extra 50 cents, you can choose from the other four seasonings available: wasabi, teriyaki, soy and seaweed, or chilli and garlic. I wasn't really taken by the Shaked Chips as I was beginning to feel rather greased out after consuming most of the hot dogs...The Shiratama Dango (sweet glutinous rice dumpling) was a much welcomed sweet finish after all our savoury snacks and is served with sweetened whole azuki beans that are still crunchy to the bite.


Shaked Chips ($3.90) + Chanoma Dog ($4.90)

Shiratama Dango

Washoku Lovers Selection ($9.90) - Chanoma Dog + Shaked Chips + Shiratama Dango + Matcha Latte

No visit to Chanoma Cafe would be complete without sampling their dessert so we got the Matcha Parfait to share. An impressive yet whimsical-looking dessert with Japanese sweets carefully piled in a cup - matcha soft serve ice cream, sweet azuki bean paste, crunchy cornflakes, fruit cocktail, shiratama dango, Pocky (Japanese chocolate-coated biscuit sticks), a biscuit roll and ice cream cone, topped with whipped cream and a generous drizzle of green tea syrup. You can't help but feel like an excited kid when collecting the dessert! The Matcha Parfait is a massive serving enough to be a meal on its own and best shared between two people.


Matcha Parfait ($9.50) - matcha soft ice cream, rice cake, sweet red bean paste, Pocky, cornflakes, cone, fruit cocktail, whipped cream and green tea syrup

Open 7 days from 11am - 10pm, you can always fall back to Chanoma Cafe for tasty and affordable snacks and drinks in a jiffy! 


Jono and I dined as guests at Chanoma Cafe with thanks to Yuri from SD Marketing Global and Washoku Lovers.


From a previous visit in Dec 2013:

Anmitsu is a popular summer Japanese dessert made from cubes of kanten (agar jelly) served with sweet azuki bean paste and syrup that is poured onto the jelly before eating. A variety of accompaniments may be served with the anmitsu including cut fruit and green tea/matcha ice cream. The Matcha Anmitsu is one of the two anmitsu desserts available at Chanoma Cafe and comes with their signature matcha soft serve ice cream and shiratama dango with a sprinkling matcha to finish. The azuki bean paste was a mix of mashed up and whole beans giving it a blend of smooth and crunchy texture. The dessert definitely tastes better drizzled with the brown sugar syrup that is served on the side as it enhances the sweetness of ice cream, agar jelly and rice dumplings. A refreshing and light dessert that is great to have on hot summer days.


Matcha Anmitsu ($6.50) - agar jelly with matcha soft ice cream, sweet red bean paste, rice cake and brown sugar syrup

Drizzling the sugar syrup

Chanoma Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato