A tiny inner-city sanctuary, Parami is a Japanese cafe serving onigiri and other Japanese snacks and sweets.

Onigiri – also known as omusubi, nigirimeshi or rice balls – is a Japanese comfort food, and a staple of Japanese lunchboxes and konbini (convenience stores). What makes it so popular is not only its portability, but its ability to match with a huge array of savoury fillings – if it goes well with rice, it will go well with onigiri.

There are around eight varieties of onigiri at Parami, the most popular options including salted salmon, tuna and mayonnaise, chicken soboro (flavoured mince) and seasoned egg. One onigiri is perfectly snack-sized, or you can make a meal of multiple. More than 200 onigiri are made on-site at Parami on weekdays, and at least 400 on the weekends, using koshihikari rice from the mountainous Toyama prefecture, one of the top-ranking rices in Japan.

Yet it’s not all rice at Parami. There are both sweet and savoury bread rolls, which might include flavours like prawn cocktail to egg mayonnaise, strawberries and cream, and grape and cheese cream. Sweets may include purin (crème caramel), cookies, mochi and muffins. The cafe offers a similar style of eating to a Japanese konbini: mix and match the snacks and sweets to your liking. Unlike a konbini, Parami serves Single O’s Killerbee coffee and single-origin matcha from Yame, Fukuoka.

For Parami co-owner Mika Kazato, onigiri evokes many childhood memories. She grew up in the countryside of Oita prefecture, surrounded by rice fields.

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Updated: April 12th, 2023

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