Bonsai Restaurant is a Japanese fusion restaurant, cafe and lounge (all-in-one) located on Roe Street in Northbridge. There was a big hype about it when it first opened late last year, with emails flying around of their opening specials and a 60% discount in exchange for a food survey. There was definitely excitement and me, being the ever curious person of new restaurants got excited too! Unfortunately though, I had to travel overseas around the time and so missed out on the 60% discount specials! I came back and found that alot of my friends had been and loved it (my sister went nearly every week for a month for birthday celebrations and dinner outings) and in a conversation, also found out that my friend’s high school mate actually owns it. When you hear multiple mentions of a restaurant from different people, it’s a SIGN…a sign that you must try it! So off I went one evening for a pre-birthday celebration.
Huge and spacious, Bonsai Restaurant is a refurbishment of an old rundown warehouse with remnants of the old self still seen inside the restaurant - exposed brick walls and hanging wires on high ceilings. However, they have jazzed it up considerably with their decor, modern colours and cutting edge technology in the form of LCD TVs flashing pictures of their dishes on the side wall. It’s very different from what you would normally see in a restaurant. I like!
Their range of desserts are displayed on glass cabinents at the counter which were of great interest to me – they look so pretty and seem to be yelling “EAT ME” as I surveyed them! You can’t tell from the picture below, I forgot to take a close-up but trust me, they look delicious! Desserts and the patisserie can be enjoyed as part of dinner or in the lounge next door on their own.
For dinner that night, we decided to order a bit of everything to share so that we can try more of the dishes – they serve a variety of small dishes, similar to Tapas-style of dining. This is what we had:
- Californian Sushi ($8.90)
- Unagi Sushi ($7.90)
- Takoyaki - 6 pcs ($7.80)
- Chilli Crab Claws – 3 pcs ($7.80)
- Cheesy Pork Katsu Rolls – 4 pcs ($9.90)
- Salmon Sashimi Bites – 6 pcs ($11.90)
- Miso Minestrone Soup ($4.00)
- DAY SPECIAL Oyster Ponzu Shichimi Salsa Nama Gaki - 5 pcs ($17.50)
The Californian (prawn and avocado coated with tobiko) and Unagi (BBQ eel and cucumber) sushis were awesome – very fresh and filled with substance. Although Californian sushi is normally very simple, the ones here came with big prawn pieces which practically filled the whole sushi piece, and teamed with the unique caramel soy and aioli sauce made it a great dish. I like 3!
The Takoyaki (octopus pancake balls served with mayo, worcestershire sauce and nori) and Chilli Crab Claws (deep fried crab dumpling served with chilli mayo) were nice as fried food are (love them even though they are so unhealthy!) although the Takoyaki were a bit doughy. I don’t think I really know how to appreciate Takoyakis as I find most of them are quite doughy, even the ones in Tokyo - the nicest ones I had so far in Perth are from Nao Japanese.
The Cheesy Pork Katsu Rolls were pork katus wrapped in cheddar cheese and marjoram and served with worcestershire miso sauce and paprika/shallot vinaigrette. I wanted to try this dish as it sounded different and indeed, they tasted different too - once again a unique blend of ingredients, however this time they didn’t really suit my tastebuds. The Miso Minestrone Soup was my sister’s favourite, she orders it every time. I had a sip and it tasted like the ABC soup we boil at home to me.
The Salmon Sashimi Bites (salmon mixed with grated ginger and dengaku miso) and the Day’s Special Oysters were delightful - dainty and eaten by the mouthful, I couldn’t get enough of them. Once again, very fresh and blended well with the sauces. Great dishes!
I was quite full by the time we finished with the food, however the desserts proved too much of a temptation to ignore! We had:
- Green Tea Mousse
- Cake (can’t remember the name :( doh!)
I like the Cake that I ordered, it was sweet and spongy and had a bit of rum in it (I feel so terrible for not being able to remember the name!) but at least I remember the look of it so I can order it again next time! The Tiramisu, Green Tea Mousse and coffee were on the average side from the others’ comments. I’m glad I ordered the cake :)
Overall, Bonsai Restaurant is a great Japanese restaurant, especially with their tapas style menu and yummy sushis! I had yet to try their main meals which will be my order the next time I visit. Service was ok, nothing too noteworthy. Love the ambience and the location of the place. Worth a try if you haven’t been yet :)
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars
Rating by: N.L.
Bonsai Restaurant Cafe and Lounge
Telephone: 08 9227 5756
Address: 30 – 36 Roe Street, Northbridge