101 Kissa is a bright, modern, sunny cafe on the corner of Meagher and Abercrombie streets in Chippendale. It has a large, dog-friendly outdoor section and a menu full of Japanese Asian Australian Fusion cafe fare. There's a jumbo lobster and scallop roll, curry chicken karaage panini and their signature butterfly pea flower rice with lobster, scallop and eel tamagoyaki with blue fried rice.
It's Sunday and Laura has just picked me up in her new car Mini Maus and we're headed to lunch at 101 Kissa. When we arrive it's peak lunchtime and all of the tables are taken but staff are really lovely and set up tables for us and another group. The first menu page has regular sort of items like benedicts and bacon and egg rolls while the second page has the more interesting ones. The coffee is by Ona although we're a bit more interested in their other hot drinks, namely the taro lattes and milkshakes.
It's so warm on this sunny winter's day that we almost don't want to leave as we sit bathed in the sun, jackets off and dogs surrounding us. The drinks come out quickly. The taro latte and chai latte are milky but very mild in flavour. You could easily double the flavour in both and just come out normal. Which is odd considering the taro milkshake is delicious, perfectly sweet and strong in flavour.
The food also comes out quickly and necessitates another table added to ours. The curry karaage panini is filled with a karaage style deep fried chicken thigh fillet, house made Japanese honey curry mustard dressing, mixed cabbage with fries on a square panini roll. The roll itself is quite hard and a bit hard to bite into and while the flavour of the Japanese honey curry mustard dressing is absolutely delicious, it needs a bit more of it as it is a touch dry even with the tomato, lettuce, cabbage and zucchini on it. The shoestring fries are seasoned with a spicy, sweet salt are plentiful and moreish.
As the name suggests the lobster roll is large. It's not a lobster roll in the Maine lobster roll sense. Rather it's a soft, warm bun filled with a sweet Japanese omelette, lobster meat, enormous scallops, caviar, mixed cabbage with lotus root chips and cauliflower on the side. It's quite sweet but very tasty with lots of flavours and a comforting, soft texture and my favourite item of the whole meal.
The two bowls come out next and they're enormous sized (and yes this is food for two but we take home anything we don't eat). One is their signature blue fried rice coloured with butterfly pea flower, a natural blue colouring. This bowl has a bit of everything so every bite is different - there are medallions of lobster (a tad chewy), seared scallops, eel tamagoyaki (rolled omelette), crispy nori, mushroom, tofu, crispy kale and blue fried rice that has a crispy edge to it. It's nice although I think if you're looking for a lobster or seafood dish, the lobster roll above is my pick.
The 101 mushroom noodles are served in another big bowl with a mixed medley of mushrooms, broccolini, egg noodles, onion and cabbage plus a creamy yolked 63 degree egg. We added fried chicken on top and it's a deep fried and sliced up chicken schnitzel which is rather enormous and great value for $6. The noodles are quite sweet, as a lot of their food does tend to be but it's an enormous portion and rather tasty too.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you mind sitting outside on winter's days or do you prefer to sit inside?
This meal was independently paid for.
94a Abercrombie St, Chippendale NSW 2008
Monday - Friday 7:00-4pm
Saturday -Sunday 8:00-4pm
Phone: 0412 246 338