By Brian Crisp
This bright and cheerful Japanese restaurant has a modern fresh feel with comfortable green high stools and blonde timber tables. Each table features an intricate mini Bonsai tree and cute mini teapots that supply the soy sauce. Orange and yellow bamboo drop lights and glass kitchen panels add a touch of pizzazz to the décor.
The open kitchen is up front and present so you can watch the talented chefs making your sushi. The one-page menu is certainly not endless, but it is deliciously impressive. For starters we chose the Tuna and Mango Tartare which had a wonderful light fruity flavour which tingles on the tip of your tongue. The Wagyu Kakuni starter was my favourite. It was mind-blowingly good with cubes of slow braised wagyu short ribs on little doughy dumplings, topped with caramelised onions. In fact, the Wagyu was so good we just had to order another plate.
Always a must at a Japanese restaurant is to try their specially made Miso soup. This didn’t disappoint. The Miso had a soft silken texture with a light aromatic taste. Japanese usually serve their miso at the beginning of the meal to help prepare the digestive system.
If there are two of you dining, make sure you order a Ship for two. This beautifully presented meal comes in a timber ship with miso soup, side salad, Californian rolls and a mix of tuna, salmon and prawn sushi. The sushi tasted incredibly fresh, you could be forgiven for thinking the chefs have pulled it direct from the sea.
If you are dining with friends that aren’t that keen on seafood then they will love the Tempura chicken roll, it’s moreish and I guarantee you won’t be able to stop at one piece. A couple of bottles of Asashi beer and a few glasses of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc helped wash lunch down just perfectly.
You don’t normally put dessert and Japanese together in your head but Bonsai Sushi believe dessert is a must. They have two choices on offer, Green Tea Cupcakes and Yuzu Custard. Both have a light delicate quality to them so it’s not a problem to order both; that should impress the dessert lovers out there.
And for those Sushi lovers, here are some interesting fish facts:
- Sushi dates back to the 2nd
- The word Sushi refers to the rice (which is mixed with vinegar and seasoned with sugar and salt) rather than the raw fish.
- The knives used by the Sushi chefs are said to come from a Samurai sword. And it is important that they are sharpened every day.
- Sushi is traditionally eaten with fingers in one or two bites and not chopsticks
- The most dangerous Sashimi you can buy is Puffer Fish and only specially trained chefs can serve Puffer Fish; these chefs also must taste the dish first before serving (and yes, Japan has lost a few of these chefs to Puffer Fish poisoning).
- If you like dipping your sushi in soy sauce it is preferred you dip the fish rather than the rice.
- Eel Sushi or Sushi which has toppings of spice or roe should never be dipped in soy sauce.
- Cheers in Japanese is kanpai, pronounced gahn-pie.
- When drinking Sake with Sushi it should be serve at room temperature. Sake has an alcohol content of between 16% and 19%.