Chanoma Cafe

February 04, 2016

If you were to ask me when Chanoma came to exist I wouldn't be able to give you a sure answer as this vibrant little Japanese cafe seems to have been around since forever. It can be found inside Regent Place which is a supremely popular hub that has undergone a major transformation over the years.

The decor consists of simple, clean lines, timber furnishings against green hues and bright lighting to create a casual yet modern ambience. It's the perfect destination for a quick meal, with a range of Japanese-style hot dogs and an abundance of matcha beverages and desserts to choose from.

Chanoma has introduced a new dessert selection for the summer which are the shaved ice bowls (kakigori) pictured above: Mt Everest, Snowy Mountain, Mt Fuji, Mt Kilimanjaro are the four variations available. Kakigori is a traditional Japanese summer dessert and is the perfect way to cool down from Sydney's temperamental but mostly hot and balmy weather.

Washoku Lovers selection
With your Washoku Lovers card you can access a combo meal deal for just $8.50 which includes chicken nuggets 4pcs ($3.90 worth), Chanoma dog ($4.90 worth), and a matcha latte ($4.80 worth) or cajyutta (grapefruit juice) ($5.90 worth). The selection represents great value for money so I will definitely need to get it in the future.

Teriyaki chicken dog $5.90
I had no doubt in my mind that teriyaki chicken stuffed in a hot dog roll would taste good and in fact it was really great. One bite and I could draw similarities to the chicken rolls I would often get from the Vietnamese bakeries in Cabramatta back in my days as a student. The teriyaki chicken filling was plentiful and full of flavour from the sweet soy sauce marinade and combined with the creamy mayonnaise it was utterly delicious. There was only one downside which was the roll itself being quite tough to bite into and pull apart.

Tonkatsu dog $6.90
DT and I liked the teriyaki chicken dog more but the tonkatsu dog was still really tasty and I would  not hesitate to get it again after trying the other Japadogs first. The tonkatsu dog from Chanoma pays homage to tonkatsu by presenting a battered, deep-fried Kransky inside a hot dog roll. Actually, it was much like a corn dog but without the stick. Crispy and golden brown batter encased what is probably my favourite kind of sausage (besides lup cheong and Thai sausages) and I love Kransky due to its firmness and ensuing juiciness once you break through the skin. 

A generous drizzle of tonkatsu sauce and mayo completed the package and made it a very scrumptious hot dog to eat. I especially enjoyed the contrast of delicious crunchy batter against the meaty sausage and I didn't find it too oily. Again, the bread itself was difficult to bite through.

Mt Fuji $7.80
From the new menu, Yuri kindly ordered us the Mt Fuji shaved ice dessert. It was quite a big portion to share between DT and I but we managed to finish it, thanks to myself mostly. Being quite a humid night I was thrilled to have such a refreshing and yummy matcha dessert to cool down with. There was an apt amount of matcha flavour and even better that the matcha syrup was really creamy. Although it was sweet, it was perfectly balanced out by the mountain of finely shaved ice. 

A huge dollop of sweet azuki on the side was most welcome and the combination of matcha and azuki in this dessert really confirmed their marriage for me as I couldn't help but scoop up a mixture of the shaved ice and azuki with my spoon. The dango (Japanese sweet made from rice flour) was firm and chewy in the middle and a good way to incorporate different textures into the dessert which was also achieved with azuki.

DT and I also had a matcha float ($5.90) which is my favourite drink from Chanoma because it's matcha soft serve in a matcha drink aka green tea overload. The main reason why I find it so good is because it's not overly sweetened so one can still appreciate the wonderful bitterness of matcha in a muted fashion and it's also super refreshing on a hot day.

Chanoma is the go-to destination for lovers of matcha and I will always be satisfied with one of their matcha drinks or better yet, their matcha soft serve which never fails to satisfy my green tea cravings. The Japadogs would make for an excellent cheap snack or even a full meal as the serving size is decent and they taste pretty darn good too. It's an extremely popular little cafe so expect to wait around for tables to free up but on the upside, the service is very efficient so don't expect to wait long at all for your order. Head on over to Chanoma now so you can try the shaved ice desserts before they disappear as they're exclusively for summer.

Also, if you're not a member of Washoku Lovers yet, it's a great community to join if you love Japanese food or interested in trying more of it. With the Washoku Lovers membership card one can gain access to a range of discounts and even freebies from numerous Japanese restaurants throughout Sydney. It's free to join:

DT and I dined as guests of Chanoma with special thanks to Yuri from SDMG Marketing for the invitation

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

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