You never know what you’re going to get at Kahii. According to the menu there’s only coffee, matcha and pork katsu rolls, but with a little digging you may end up with matcha-flavoured doughnuts; dairy-free date cakes; sushi; or a bowl of yoghurt blended with pink dragon fruit and banana.
“I don't want to have just one formula from the beginning and stick with that,” says Kahii’s co-owner, Alan Wong. The only consistent element is the cafe’s Japanese inspiration. Beyond the matcha and katsu sandwiches there’s a Japanese influence in the design of the space. With copper lanterns and an oak and stone bar, it looks like a repurposed alleyway izakaya.
In the future it may be a one-off izakaya, too. “This may sound like a crazy idea, but I'd like to make this a sushi bar one day a week. Then maybe one week later something completely different,” says Wong.
Last week there was a hot-pink smoothie bowl with cacao nibs, bee pollen, figs and banana, and gooey date-based raw vegan cakes from Gorgeous Food Inc. The week before it was Donut Papi’s matcha-iced doughnuts, and a salmon and soba salad. Wong says Sydney has an incredibly vibrant food culture, and small cafes are the perfect place to feature Sydney’s emerging class of food hobbyists, and to help them become professional. “I'm happy to give those people a try. Some may work, some may not. That's ok.”
Regardless of who Kahii features, the constants will always be coffee, matcha and the katsu rolls. For coffee, the standard blend comes from Toby’s Estate, but single origins can be ordered from Kahii’s rotating guest roaster –Proud Mary’s was featured last week. The matcha is either brewed as a sweet and frothy latte for the first timers, or for the well initiated, prepared ceremonial style to produce a pure chlorophyll-like tannin flavour. “It's a higher grade of matcha powder. It's sieved and finely whisked in water with a bamboo whisk,” says Kahii’s other owner, Matthew Wong.
364 Kent Street, Sydney
(02) 9290 1889
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm