Saturday, September 17

Maki Maki cafe

It's very cute that there is a restaurant in Melbourne with the name "Peko Peko", so I went around Adelaide to hunt for a counterpart, and I found one!

Location: Parc Arcade, Gawler Place, Rundle Mall, Adelaide, SA ,5000, this is admittedly a late discovery since I never knew this particular Arcade existed till I deliberately looked around. It didn't help that to the left of this arcade's entrance was a carpark entrance and to the right was the main road, so I would never have guessed this humble door led to a very youthful strip of shops and cafes.

Website: There is no website for this particular cafe, as they are a fairly new and family-sized establishment.

Price: The main food they sold was sushi rolls and bento boxes, rolls were between $2.30 to $2.70, and bento boxes were $6.80-$9.80, with an optional drink add-on for $1.70. Typical lunch prices although slightly on the cheaper end.

Food: I must confess that I am a big fan of Japanese food, so I am very picky on the quality. MakiMaki probably doesn't hold up very well for me but to be fair, it is only a takeaway restaurant (though they do have seats), and it is very cheap for near-authentic Japanese meal.

The vegetarian bento was probably the more disappointing meal. Despite its decent presentation, the rice was overly dry, the vege patties were bland tasting without the accompanying sauce and sadly the best bit of the meal was the spoonful of seaweed salad hiding underneath the spring roll.

This was arguably the best bento they had, since you had sashimi, teriyaki chicken AND a bit of eel in one meal. Each of these held up average in terms of taste, and I noticed the universal garnishments for all their bentos were spinach leaves and a spring roll. A bit lazy but I can't complain since this box does offer a lot more to enjoy, especially given it was only $7.80.

Finally, The smoked salmon salad was a 'luxury' dish comprising of a bit of seaweed, avocado, smoked salmon slices and sushi rice. At first it looked like a lazy pile up of sushi ingredients in a bowl, but surprisingly it does have a very distinct look and taste thanks to the wasabi/mustard sauce on top which transforms an otherwise cliche taste into something very refreshing. This was probably the best dish we had, but the salmon was a bit dry and there was AGAIN spinach leaves. It's the equivalent of putting 2 cucumber slices in chinese rice dishes, which I thought was a bad idea since the whole institution of Japanese food is diversity. They could at least alternate spinach leaves with shredded lettuce or something.

Other: the cafe had lots of big signs saying that the seats are for "Makimaki customers only", and someone who was just joining a few people to eat without buying a meal himself was also warned that he needs to buy something to sit down. I thought that was a little bit unfriendly. However, the overall atmosphere was relaxed and dishes were served fairly quickly.

Rating: 3/5 You get what you paid for. The cafe is nice to eat at, food presentation is decent, but the taste and preparation was subpar for Japanese cuisine, both by Adelaide standard and mine. There was no miso soup accompanying any of the dishes; it wasn't even an add-on option. This was disappointing given that this cafe was actually operated by Japanese staff. And finally, because it resided in such a secluded arcade, it took me 4 years of walking through Rundle Mall daily to actually realise it existed, so not an easy place to find as a supposed 'convenient' stop-by during your lunch break unless you already knew where it was.

Maki Maki Japanese Cafe on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. lol interesting, the maki maki logo even looks cutesy like the peko peko one. lol that guy not being able to sit down with his friends does sound a bit harsh.