I stood in front of Purple Peanuts Cafe for the second, no third, no… fourth time now. The extremely busy establishment was always a place I wanted to try but the timing was never right. I wandered past and stepped in the cafe many times but never ordered anything to eat until now. It’s small and decorated with quirky bits of Japanese paraphernalia. To one end, strategically placed paper butterflies and heart trailed up the walls alongside an electric cable while to the other end, an angsty octopus plush sat on top of the speaker on the far corner surrounded by Japanese rock posters.
And yet, the cafe felt homely. Albeit a loud one at times, but nonetheless there is something to be said about finding naturally lit small spaces as comforting.
Purple Peanuts Japanese Cafe offers a variety of eat in and take away meal options for the busy traveller, worker or student. As your enter the cafe, there is a selection of pre packaged sushi lunch boxes to grab and go. Near the counter, the cafe has a range of vegetable and brown rice salads to choose from as well.
The vegetarian onigiri was delicious, though a tad pricey. The onigiri made into a ball and then deep fried in a light batter. Just think of a Japanese style arancini ball. The teriyaki sauce that is served with the onigiri completes the dish, however dunking it the Japanese curry tastes even better. It is simply comfort food at its best on a chilli day.
Vegetarian curry with tofu $10.50
Mild Japanese curry with potato, carrot, onion, ginger, garlic and pickles, topped with red capsicum, eggplant, zucchini and tofu
The vegetarian curry on it’s own was a bit of a let down. It lacked a kind of depth of flavour that a good box of premade Japanese curry cube at least provides, which was disappointing. The tofu was flavourless as if had not been left to simmer in the curry sauce long enough to absorb the flavour, but instead heated up and placed on top.
My friend who had order the teriyaki chicken dish on rice found it to be very good. The chicken was tender, juicy and very well marinated.
Despite the my experience with the somewhat flavourless Japanese curry, I would definitely come back for the onigiri and to try some of the other dishes on the menu. Oh and I did I mention the home made matcha chocolate bars on sale as well?