The best Japanese cafe in Northern NSW


Dan and I love Japanese food, and we look forward to our weekly visits to Federal Doma Cafe when I’m at Moondance. Federal Doma is a small, quaint, Japanese cafe with a laid-back vibe, run by a friendly team of cool Japanese folks in the quiet town of Federal. It’s the closest town to where we live, so it’s very convenient for us.

It’s usually packed by 12.30pm, so we try to get there before noon to make sure we get seats. There’s also a music performance every Sunday.


They can do no wrong, everything we’ve ordered has been so tasty. We usually order the same stuff – veggie hand rolls, country miso soup, and maybe some edamame. Dan will have bancha and I’ll have a green tea soy latte. Depending on the specials, I sometimes have a fish dish, their fish katsu don is the best I’ve ever tasted, and their chips are pretty good too. Now that I’m avoiding dairy, I no longer have any more of their delicious cream-filled sponge cake rolls, they are so delicious though.

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Here’s a photo of the 3 different types of hand rolls that we usually order: fresh veggies, sweet potato tempura, and halloumi (I now avoid cheese so I don’t order this anymore but I’d highly recommend it). These are the freshest and tastiest hand rolls I have ever eaten. Each costs AUD$4-$4.50. Below that is a photo of their agedashi tofu vegetable salad, this one was a special but there’s another style of tofu salad which is a mainstay on their menu, with a tahini dressing.


I love the rustic, stripped paint look that they have on their interiors, and some of the furniture, from Dirty Old Town, which is made from reclaimed wood.

Federal Doma really is a hidden gem in the Byron Hinterland, so if you’re ever in the Northern Rivers area, pop by! It is located at 3 Albert Street, next to the Federal General Store. Enjoy!

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