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Monday, November 25, 2013

Bites: Contemporary Japanese at Bonsai Restaurant, Northbridge

Establishing itself as one of the pioneers of Contemporary Japanese food,  Bonsai has always gotten my fancy for a place that keeps your buds interested without punching a hole in the wallet.  True enough, the banquet which saw us have 10 appetizers and a main each only cost $49 bucks and with the Entertainment Book, you can get a further 25% discount.  Hospitality never strays too far their practice as the supervisor, a cool looking bald-headed guy ensured that our no-prawn and no-crab dietary requirements were met.  Water was always brought to the table and the waitresses despite serving a massive crowd of people never failed to put up a smile.

The night started with our favourite Chicken Salad topped with crisp wanton skins.  Delicious chicken and as mentioned before, can salad even be that tasty?  Mind boggling.  We also had a substantial Beef Tataki well drenched in the citrus ponzu that suited the palate before moving on to a refreshing Salmon Sashimi Bites.  A delicious salmon tartare dressed with aioli on a mildly bitter-ish witloaf.  Good balance of flavors and textures with a refreshing bite.  Then comes the lovely Salmon Aburi Nigiri.  Another table favourite.  I have always loved my oily fish on a charcoal grill or blowtorched a little bit.   The oils when heated gives out that delicious smoky smell and the protein becomes buttery.   Topped with a in-house miso, booms!Bonsai 1Pic (clockwise): Boys be Boys, Crispy Chicken Salad with Wanton Skins,  Tempura Baby Squid, Salmon Aburi Nigiri, Salmon Sashimi Bites

For most parts, our crabs and prawn dishes were swapped into a squid dish.  Deep-fried in a spicy batter or a tempura one, they were exceptionally moorish.  Even XL who tends to stray from squid had a bite and found that they were actually really tasty! 

Pick (clockwise):  Teri-Steak, Pork Belly Kakuni, 2-Style Fried Chicken, Teriyaki Toothfish,  Yv and the Boys, Spicy Cuttlefish, and Jimmy with the girls (middle)Bonsai 2The mains made no less of a good impression than the appetizers.  If anything felt lackluster at all, it was probably the chicken Katsu/Kaarage combo which felt a little underwhelming after having all the deep fried goodies during the appetizer!  However, for one down, we had three joys.  For instance, the beef teriyaki is a classic favourite still resisting the change of time.  Since my first visit to Bonsai a few years back, this yummy steak in a garlicky butter teriyaki sauce have impressed.  It still does really as Jim who repetitively mentioned throughout the night “This sauce is so good.  I wonder how they make it”.  Then we have the toothfish which was cooked to perfection.  Another stunner with the skin still mildly crisp when it first reach the table.   Lastly, the pork belly kakuni!  A delightful soy sauce pork that when accompanied by rice, felt like a match in heaven.  While it could do with more time in the cooker, nobody was complaining.

The meal at Bonsai was no less satisfying than the meal we had there last year or earlier this year.  Its flavors, presentation, and service did not fail us that night.  Seems like an exaggeration but when you realize how little $50 buys you in Perth, you tend to be more than satisfied.  If there was any regrets at all that night, it was probably the missing chocolate cake that Yv, Nee, XL and I love so much.  Perhaps better luck next time? :)


The Bonsai Restaurant & Cafe Lounge on Urbanspoon


  1. Gah I've only been here once, in its first week of opening I think when they offered 3 meals for the price of 2. Need to go back!

  2. Woah! I think this calls for a return Sandy :)!

    How did you find the food then?

  3. I think back then I didn't find it anything special, and it certainly didn't get the attention it gets now. I don't even think it was a tapas style restaurant when I visited. And thank you for all the recommendations, I really want to try Gopi Leaf but it's so far!

  4. I ADORE Bonsai! The banquet is such great value :) I'm a big fan of their prawn springrolls yummmmmmm

  5. Take it slow Sandy! One day you'll go to everyone of em! Nasi Lemak is something I have every Saturday back home in Malaysia. Such a yummy hearty meal! Feel like going back already hahaha

    Kristyyyyy, I loved the spring rolls too but aiks @@! My friend could not eat prawns so we did not have that :(! Also, will you be going to Big Els? hehe I look forward to you review!

  6. I will be! Haha I'm going next week - are you? :)

  7. definitely kristy! Once today with my sis and another time next sunday with the colleagues!

  8. I am also a big fan. I mean, they have a GF menu just for me!!

  9. WOah chomp! Another restaurant that spoils you!!! :)! But I have to say, that level of dedication is phenomenal :)!