Kinoko Deli

Shop 8, Trafalgar on Collins, 110 Collins Street
03) 6223 6519
Open: Open Friday to Saturday 9.00am to 5.00pm. Takeaways.

Kinoko is Hobart’s first Japanese deli and specialty grocery store since David Quon’s little place in Salamanca back in the ‘80s. But it’s also a Japanese takeaway offering a much more interesting and diverse range of foods than that available in the many lunchtime sushi establishments around in the CBD.

Opened last November, its shelves are stacked high with everything from Japanese lollies to miso pastes, bonito and dashi stocks, red bean pancakes with chestnuts, roasted, shredded and powdered nori and other seaweeds, a range of pickles and relishes, green and barley teas, different rice varieties, beers, plum wines and a number of sakes, including sake kasu, made from sake lees and traditionally used as a healthy, warming addition to miso soup.

And it’s one of the very few places in Hobart offering pure wasabi powder, the latest product from the Shima wasabi people in northern Tasmania.
Then there’s a freezer with a selection of fish roes, soused mackerels, sausages, dumpling skins and even Japanese ice creams. With such a well-stocked pantry for the kitchen to draw on, it’s not surprising that the bain marie offerings change and are freshly prepared daily with each day’s menu posted on their Facebook page.

And it’s from the day’s selection of hot and cold dishes, salads, soups and a choice of white, brown and mixed fried rices that you make up your own “bento box” – $12 for a main dish, two salads and rice; $16 for two mains, two salads and rice, or your selection of individually priced items.

On the day I visited, there was chicken four ways – deep fried with house-made BBQ sauce, marinated with sansho pepper, teriyaki chicken and fried chicken called karaage served with an eggy, Japanese take on tartare sauce. Accompaniments included a very refreshing cucumber salad with roasted sesame and ponzu marinade, a basic shredded carrot salad with white sesame seeds plus their most popular dish, a salad of soba noodles with kombu and sesame dressing.
There was also vegetarian gyoza served with pickles and, best of all, the appropriately named and all-time favourite Japanese snack called okonomiyaki, essentially a cabbage pancake with “okonomi” meaning “favourite”.

A lunch of okonomiyaki plus some house-made tempura seaweed as a crunchy nibble spiced up with the kitchen’s love-it or hate-it – I loved it – paste made from pounding dried nori together with sugar, sake and soy sauce, as served by the delightful, smiling Tomoko, is sufficiently evocative of the cherry blossoms of Japan to brighten up anyone’s winter day.

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