In early December, A and I caught up with our friend G who currently lives in London but is originally from Perth. G returns once or twice a year to visit her family and it’s always fun to see her. A and I love showing her the new places that have popped up since her last visit to our quick developing city.
When it came time to organise a night out, we decided to visit The Bonsai Restaurant in Northbridge, a Japanese restaurant A was interested to try due to its Urbanspoon rating. The Bonsai Restaurant is situated on Roe Street in an old warehouse that has been renovated. The decor features exposed brick walls and high ceilings with a spaciously designed restaurant floor.
G and A ordered green tea to start with, while I settled with a coke. The green tea was served in cute little mugs that had pictures of sushi all over them.
Bonsai Restaurant states that most diners will order two or three dishes per person to share with their table. We decided to do as suggested, with our focus mainly on vegetarian dishes.
Our first dish was the Pan-fried mushrooms with karashi-su-miso ($7.80). The karashi-su-miso and lemon shallot vinaigrette added an interesting flavour to the mushrooms but overall we weren’t overly impressed with this dish or its serving size.
The Takoyaki ($8.50) arrived next. Takoyaki are seasoned octopus pancake balls with mayo and worcestershire sauce drizzled on top. These are one of my favourite Japanese foods and Bonsai’s version was really nice. They were crispy on the outside and plump on the inside, as the filling was full of octopus pieces. They’re worthy of a try if you head to Bonsai.
A and I were keen to order the Tempura Baby Squid ($10.90) after the amazing version we had at Zushi in Surry Hills, Sydney. The squid was seasoned with salt, pepper and shichimi (a mild chilli powder) and was served with tentsuyu (tempura sauce). A and I really enjoyed this dish, as the squid was nicely seasoned and crispy.
G chose the Agedashi tofu ($9.50) and mentioned that this is the dish she typically orders at Japanese restaurants. The deep fried tofu was decorated with eggplant, beans and carrots, served with grated radish & agedashi sauce. G said that she really enjoyed this dish as the tofu was lightly fried on the outside and the sauce was light and flavoursome.
Our final dish was the Sweet Potato and Eggplant Tempura ($9.90). I found the seasoning to be quite light and it left it to be lacking in flavour. We also thought that the serving size was quite small with only four slices of vegetables provided.
We were offered desserts but decided to head elsewhere and instead requested the bill. The bill didn’t arrive for at least 20 minutes later, which totaled close to $60. After I gave my visa card and went to sign the visa slip, A looked over my shoulder and noticed the difference in price, as I was signing a slip that said our total was $110. I mentioned this to a waitstaff and during the refund process I was not offered an apology for the mixup. Even though it’s was a small human error made, I would have appreciated an apology.
Overall, we weren’t overly impressed with The Bonsai Restaurant however there were some lovely dishes and the venue was spacious and atmospheric.