Contemporary Japanese Deli
Tucked away inside the Dacosta Arcade, Contemporary Japanese Deli is a cosy eatery by father-and-son team Aki and Sid Owa, who are drawing on the former’s 25-plus years’ experience running restaurants to bring Japanese lunches to the CBD – at wallet-friendly prices not unlike what you’d find in Japan.
The menu here is comforting and classic, with highlights including donburi rice bowls, bento boxes and ramen. There are also plenty of vegetarian options such as kakiage (tempura vegetables) with curry or udon soup; plus seasonal specials such as oden, a comforting winter stew of boiled eggs, root vegetables and seafood.
The deli’s bento boxes are among the most affordable (and generous) takeaway lunch options you’ll find in the city. They come with your choice of protein alongside rice, miso soup, vegetables and fruit salads, and house-made pickles.
But the real star of the menu is the ramen: generous portions of springy noodles in broths ranging from creamy, pork-based tonkotsu to homemade miso. But for most, the soy-based, Tokyo-style ramen is the one to order – it’ll set you back less than $10.
There’s an undeniable charm about Contemporary Japanese Deli that makes you feel as though you’re eating at a Japanese friend's place. The interior is decorated with traditional Japanese artwork, and though the space feels cosy, there’s ample seating both inside and out to accommodate the throngs at lunchtime.
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