|Miso soup and onigiri at Matcha Time Cafe|
Matcha Time is a two-room Japanese restaurant at the top of the public parking lot at Hamilton Street. They mostly serve sushi, teas and ice cream. For each, it's unusual options. These are unique varieties of tea, ice cream concoctions from Japan, and sushi that range from basic rolls to make-your-own hand rolls.
I went for onigiri -- an Asian snack or light meal made with palm-sized rice balls. The rice is flavored with or wrapped around fish or other ingredients. Lil' Chow and I had just finished biking the Trollery Line #9 trail up to the Breadery, so I ordered two onigiri -- one salmon and one another spicy fish. I forget which fish.
I remember that it was a well-done lunch. Filling but light. Fresh rice and good fish. That makes sense because Matcha Time's main savory offerings are sushi. The menu had basic rolls, along with a shrimp tempera udon and hand roll sets where you get nori and sushi to roll your own. Those are pretty unique -- and I assume authentically Japanese -- options for such a small restaurant.
If anything, Matcha Time will get better in the winter. It's a cozy spot for lunch or for tea and dessert. When the weather chills, Lil' Chow is going to demand indoor places to eat ice cream, and I could imagine taking a walk on Main Street and come back to Matcha Time for warming tea, filling sushi, and exciting ice cream.
Can anyone explain the Japanese ice cream options? The do ice creams like green tea and black sesame (along with vanilla). Then they do kakifori or "shave ice" -- both "western style" and "Japanese style." What do people recommend?
Matcha Time Cafe
375 Hamilton Street
Historic Ellicott City, MD 21043
NEAR: Matcha Time Cafe is just off Main Street in downtown Ellicott City. Matcha Time's address is Hamilton Street, but you should park in the public lot behind Tersiguel's. Matcha Time is visible at the top of the parking lot next to La Palapa.