Although it’s been around for nearly 5 years, I’ve never visited Madison’s Macha Teahouse on Monroe Street, in good measure due to their daytime-only hours. I was also entirely unaware that they served food beyond baked goods.
This recent review from Marcelle Richards at Isthmus has me intrigued, though: “Macha’s Asian-inspired menu seems to be under the radar of most people, and that’s too bad. It’s modest, but your senses will have plenty to devour. It’s said that first, we eat with our eyes. Visually, Macha’s presentation exceeds most café fare: It is colorful food, thoughtfully prepared…. [A] a donburi bowl with raw slivers of shiitakes, steamed bok choy and ribbons of daikon, with a smattering of togarashi, or Japanese pepper flakes, is available for lunch. At first I found the shiitakes too earthy in their raw form, but with the other elements, I enjoyed their umami, tamed by the sweet ribs of bok choy and the bitterness of its greens. Although soy sauce is served alongside, my marinated tofu needed no help. I wouldn’t change a thing. The rice is also notably well prepared.” Yum!
Reviewers at Yelp and Stephanie Bedford (in this 2010 food review at madison.com) also like the place a lot. Yelpers confirm Richards’ assessment that it’s not a place for kids, unless they’re as zen as the surroundings.