kap1 Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

Whenever I eat or visit somewhere that I think is outstanding I face a dilemma: write about it and share my discovery so others can find it too and the business can benefit, or keep it to myself so I can enjoy it without it changing? Unfortunately I’m terrible at keeping food secrets, so I have to tell you that my new favourite magical place is Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe on Johnston St in Abbotsford (just east of Hoddle St).

kap2 Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

Lunch is a kind of deconstructed bento box served on a plate. You can mix and match various options, such as miso soup, and different rice balls, including ones with prawn or tempura vegetables. Below you can see the vegetable tempura rice ball (top, with prawn ball hiding behind it), chicken (right), tofu ball (bottom) and cabbage salad (left). Everything is delicious and beautifully presented.

kap3 Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

kap5 Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

Another of the rice balls featured salmon, which my girlfriend said was excellent.

kap4 Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

kap6 Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

We finished our meal with a matcha (green tea) cake that was as green as the photo suggests and quite yummy!

kap7 Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

kap8 Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

I don’t want to be responsible for Kappaya becoming huge and leaving their present location for somewhere larger and less intimate (like Hako has done, though I ate at their larger premises recently and can say the food remains as wonderful as before). Therefore, please ignore this review and this one from the Age, and don’t go there for lunch en masse because if you do I won’t be able to get in ever again (they’re not open at night).

Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

6 thoughts on “Kappaya Japanese soul food cafe, Abbotsford

  • 15 September 2008 at 8:18 am
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    In the fifth photo down, the little treats look like cartoon characters!

    Reply
  • 24 March 2009 at 10:58 pm
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    i’m in love with this place – Toshi is a genius! the best brown rice tea i’ve ever tasted, and seriously lovely decor.

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    • 25 March 2009 at 12:39 am
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      It’s a delightful place! You’ve reminded me to go again :-)

      Reply
  • 15 September 2010 at 11:49 am
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    I think this place has relocated to the Abbotsford Convent? I went there on the weekend just past. Either that or they now have two locations. Can anyone confirm?

    It was the most superb cafe experience I have had in years. Relaxing, delicious, soul-warming and quite frankly I didn’t want to leave and could have sat there til closing!

    Reply
    • 15 September 2010 at 12:02 pm
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      Yes, it opened at the convent more than a year ago, but I am not sure whether it is also still on Johnston St.

      Reply
  • 15 September 2010 at 7:06 pm
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    Toshi still owns the building on Johnston St, but has relocated Kappaya to the Convent.

    Reply

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