Japanese food has always been a little bit of a mystery to me, as my early exposure to it wasn’t overly enticing. Some flavour combinations and ingredients can be a little left field, so for a long time I just didn’t quite get it.
However, eventually I was reintroduced via the institution that is ramen, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Another other thing I love to find is little tucked away places. People dishing out amazing food, not for the disinterested masses, but for those dedicated souls willing to venture away from a food court and into the nooks and crannys of the city. Those kitchens focusing on flavour first, value second and aesthetics somewhere after that.
This is not to say that Contemporary Japanese Deli is unpleasant at all, just that it’s hardly going to compete with other lavish new upstarts for best interior design awards.
However, once you take your first sip of the steaming ramen in front of you on a chilly, drizzly spring day – none of that matters in the slightest. The depth of flavour is exceptional, and while not the richest or spiciest around, the nuances and subtleties layered in is a most impressive feature. It builds and builds through the bowl, incorporating the accompanyments and additions along the way – and suddenly you have taken your last scoop and are left disappointed there isn’t just that bit more left…
Across the board, adherence to tradition and quality is found, but the premium of product is not reflected in the price, with most dishes coming in at around the $10 mark.
There is minimal seating here so it may well be a grab and go affair, but do yourself a favour and venture into the Da Costa Arcade and find your way to the Contemporary Japanese Deli. But ssshhh! Don’t tell everyone. This can just be our little secret slice of Japan in the Adelaide CBD.
Contemporary Japanese Deli is located at Shop 22 Da Costa Arcade (68 Grenfell Street), Adelaide. They are open 10:30 till 4pm Monday to Friday.