A little bit of Japan, in Moonah
In Moonah, at the back of a shopping arcade where you wouldn’t expect to find anything more interesting that an embroidery story or a stamp collecting club is the best Japanese restaurant in Tasmania (yes, I realise this may be an oxymoron) – the Kawasemi Japanese Tea House.
Kawasemi is owned by Japanese born Aki Umenura, the kitchen is staffed with Japanese chefs and the ingredients are purchased locally to ensure freshness and high quality (and also one of the only places in Hobart serving fresh eel). It’s a good marriage of Umenura’s knowledge of Japanese cuisine and Tasmania’s produce and it’s amazingly good value. Kawaesmi should be on the must visit list for anyone in the northern suburbs (and judging by their consistent busyness, it certainly is.)
I loved this: Nasu Dengaku, deep fried eggplant with yellow miso ($6.50). Please ignore the calorie count, especially if you have picked up the skin of the eggplant to suck off the last morsels of salty flesh. It’s worth the calories, and the embarrassment of the licking. This dish alone is enough of a reason to return, let along an opportunity to sample some of the freshest sushi and sashimi in Hobart (which is also available take-away).
Sukiyaki Beef ($18) was also a winner. A large serve of delicately stewed beef in a translucent sweet, salty broth with cabbage, zucchini and cauliflower served with rice, this meal could have easily fed two.
This was the only dish we ordered that was a failure. And I ordered it (oh, the shame). It sounded Japanese, “Sukana Furai,” but it really means “fish with breadcrumbs,” and it wasn’t what we were after. The tonkatsu sauce was a disappointment and the side “salad” of egg, mayonnaise and chopped capsicum seemed a kickback to the deli section at Coles. Mostly, this dish was bland and flavorless. Can’t win em all. ($16)
Unable to go past the very creative, and very cheap, desert menu, we ordered deep fried tempura ice cream ($4.80) and a green tea pancake filled with red bean custard ($4.50) which were both enjoyable (although we were getting a little full by this stage.) The tempura batter on the ice-cream was a little spongy, but the chocolate sauce saved it. I’m looking forward to a return visit to try the creme caramel ($2.5) just out of pure curiosity.
The service was excellent, and the atmosphere charming – right down to the obligatory bonsai, 80s crockery and audio delights of “The Best of Easily Recognisable Classical Favourites.” I was puzzled by the use of disposable chopsticks, especially when we were asked to keep them to use with both our entree and main, but otherwise, it was hard to find any real fault.
The Kawasemi experience punches so far above it’s weight, any negatives from the evening will vanish from your memory as soon as you have paid you teeny, tiny bill. Highly recommended, but be sure to book a table, Kawasemi is not a well kept secret.
Kawasemi Japanese Tea House
Dickenson’s Arcade 109 Main Rd
Moonah TAS 7009
(03) 6278 1322
This entry was posted on Sunday, July 4th, 2010 at 2:28 pm and is filed under Hobart, Tasmania. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.