Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Matcha Time Cafe Is A Small Spot With Big Reasons To Stop, Including Onigiri For Me

Miso soup and onigiri at Matcha Time Cafe
It's a small spot with a small menu, but there are big reasons to stop into Matcha Time Cafe off Main Street in Ellicott City.

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.


Frank Hecker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Hecker said...

(sorry, did a typo myself) Minor typo: It's kakigori with a "g". Japanese-style kakigori is with ice cream, Western-style is without. My personal favorite is Japanese-style kakigori with vanilla ice cream, Japanese-style strawberry syrup, raspberry jam, and sweetened condensed milk. You will never want to eat a "sno-cone" again.

Pamela Eidsness said...

Go on a weekend when they are serving ramen. It is out of this world.

Beverly Lynn said...

They have designated parking for then right in front of their store if that lot actually ever gets too full!

Anonymous said...

You need to monitor their Facebook page for their special events such as ramen weekend or free tea testing. The ramen is definitely worth it!

Joanne Brazinski said...

The onigiri is great and they have some different teas. I got kyobancha, which is smoky, like a campfire! (For me, that's a really good thing.) The food reminds us of our vacation in Japan--very authentic.