Years ago Kappaya was located on Johnston St just east of Hoddle St in Abbotsford. It relocated c2010 to the Abbotsford Convent. It’s a much better space in terms of having a reliable clientele, but the space itself is smaller and it can be difficult to get a seat. I advise going on a cold rainy day when the competition may be reduced.
$12 gets you a fantastic bento with 2 onigiri, two side dishes and salad. Another $3 gets a mug of miso soup. There are about seven different onigiri to choose from, and there are vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.
The side dishes I chose were saku saku (tempura vegetables), which comes in the form of a single giant wafer with a tangy onion pickle. The mushi dori (steamed chicken and mushroom in broth) is tender and exquisitely flavoured. This is the best Japanese food I’ve had for a long time.
Nouveau potato and other bloggers are fans and I am too. The service is kind and the food is infinitely better than that at Lentil as Anything next door. Being tiny and densely furnished, Kappaya does not do well in terms of disabled access. Unfortunately the token outdoor table for smokers may be your only option.
The Abbotsford Convent is a fascinating place I’ve visited several times, and the art galleries and spaces are fun to explore. But I’d happily go there just for Kappaya.