Of all the expressions of Japanese cooking, the traditional breakfast of grilled fish (usually salmon), pickles, vegetables, soup and rice is one of the hardest to find in Australia. Thankfully, Hinata Cafe at the Fremantle Fibonacci Centre has made it just a little bit easier.
A Japanese breakfast/brunch plate is one of the cornerstones of the cafe’s menu. It might come with tempura-fried beetroot, foil-baked fish, a little tumbler glass of mac and cheese bound in a miso sauce, and other flashbacks to that last Hokkaido ski holiday or Osaka homestay. A neat hillock of rice ties everything together and the make-up of the plate changes every fortnight with vegetarian and gluten-free options available.
Curry is also a key component of the food offering as are various Japanese and non-Japanese soup options. On weekends, other Japanese classics such as oden (hotpot) and okonomiyaki (a savoury pancake) are available. The matcha cheesecake, hojicha (roasted green tea) crème caramels and other sweets in the display cabinet are available at all times.
Hinata means ‘a sunny spot’ in Japanese and that’s exactly what this place is. The is space awash in warmth and hospitality. Everything about it feels just right: the address at a community-minded centre on the outskirts of Fremantle; the Japanese jazz soundtrack; the colourful knick-knacks and cheery smiles of staff that brighten up the mainly concrete space. In short, this cosy 70-seater absolutely nails the kissaten (Japanese coffeeshop) brief.
Hinata is open for dinner Wednesday to Friday by reservation only.
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