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Japanese dishes in fourth place: “cha no ma” serves the pleasure of matcha

Japanese dishes in fourth place: “cha no ma” serves the pleasure of matcha

“Cha No Ma” at Faulmanngasse 7 is a little piece of Japan in Wieden. Authentic tea and all kinds of Japanese dishes have been brewed here since 2006.

Vienna / Wieden. Among the Vienna fans in Japan, “Cha No Ma” is no longer an insider tip. The name, which means ‘tea room’ in German, says it all – because everything here revolves around authentic Japanese tea. “We consulted a tea expert before opening,” says the owner. Ayumi Kondo. While there would never be enough space for a full Japanese tea ceremony, elements of the traditional approach can be incorporated into an abbreviated form of tea homage.

One color prevails in the cozy little shop: wall portions, decorative items and team aprons are matcha green. Matcha, the specialty green tea prepared from ground leaves, has established itself as a trend-setter in recent years. However, at Cha No Ma, tea has been brewed in the traditional way since it opened in 2006.

Umami scent on Veden

The Cha No Ma website says, “The matcha is frothed with a bamboo paddle, giving it umami. In the process, its special sweetness and aroma are developed, which unfold in a typical bowl of chuan tea.”

Umami is actually a distinct taste that is perceived by the tongue as salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. Matcha tea can be enjoyed traditionally in a tea pot or as a latte with milk or milk alternatives. Matcha chocolate, the sweet chocolate version of matcha latte, is particularly delicious.

Cha Nu Ma at home at Faulmanngasse 7. |  Photo: Tamara Windtner

When I opened “Cha No Ma,” Viennese didn’t know matcha. “We offered samples in front of the store, but people were alarmed by the intense green,” Kondo recalls. Matcha powder is a versatile ingredient that can’t just be used for tea: Homemade “daifuku” matcha is highly recommended.

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Seasonal Japanese delicacies

Daifuku are sweet, round dishes made of rice jelly with various fillings. Cha No Ma likes to show off his creativity here in the form of seasonal specials. In spring, you can look forward to the Sakura daifuku with cherry blossom filling, and in strawberry season comes the Ichigo daifuku, which is filled with whole strawberries. In autumn and winter, ingredients such as pumpkin or chestnuts are often used in cha no ma.

“Japanese cuisine in general is very seasonal,” explains Kondo. Because the seasons are more pronounced there and the island nation has always been dependent on weather conditions. If you want to snag a seasonal special on “Cha No Ma,” you usually have to be quick, because the famous Ichigo Daifuku, for example, is eagerly awaited and sells out quickly.

“Japanese sausage roll”

Those who prefer spicy will get their money’s worth with the so-called ‘Onigiri’. These stuffed rice wedges, wrapped in a sheet of moss, are rarely found in Japanese restaurants in Vienna, because in Japan they are more of a quick snack: “It’s the Japanese equivalent of a sausage roll,” Kondo explains. Unlike sausage rolls, onigiri, like tea and daifuku, are also available in all kinds of different vegetable varieties.

There is something for everyone, for example onigiri with umeboshi, i.e. salt plum, as a filling. In the past, sour and pickled plums were mainly used to keep the rice fresh for a longer time. The so-called “inari sushi” is especially delicious – it is rice covered with a bag of fried tofu, gently seasoned.

cultural exchange

For all tea lovers, Cha No Ma also contains ingredients and utensils for making a pot of Japanese tea at home. And all Japan lovers will always find posts and notifications about interesting events related to Japan. Regular customers, including many students of Japanese studies, really appreciate it.

“When my father opened his first Japanese restaurant in Vienna in 1972, people in Austria still knew very little about Japan. That has changed a lot in the meantime,” says Kondo, vice president of the Austro-Japanese Society in Vienna. with her man George Schneider It hosts the annual Japanese Film Festival “Japannual”.

If you want to make matcha tea at home, you will "cha no ma" Equipped with accessories.  |  Photo: Tamara Windtner

The restaurant “Cha No Ma” at Faulmanngasse 7 is open from Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm. More information is available www.chanomavienna.at.

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