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Review: Bon Kura

Michelle Brotohusodo

Do you ever get stuck in a routine where you go to the same places in the same suburbs all the time, so when new places open you have no idea they exist? This happens to me in Dickson. I haven’t been to the “main street” in months, as I usually only go to the Woollies, my tailor (Le’s Tailoring), or Cholo’s Peruvian—all on the outer perimeter. So I had no idea that a new Japanese restaurant, Bon Kura, had opened on Woolley Street, until the owner, Bonnie Ho, sent HerCanberra an invitation to come and try it.

Bon Kura opened a month ago, and appears to be a welcome addition to the Dickson dining scene. It was busy when my brother and I got there, and even busier by the time we left—and this was on a Tuesday. When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was that the space was big, with a striking cherry blossom motif on the far wall.

bonkurawall

After being seated, we were presented with the menu, which was extensive, to say the least—there are 125 items on it! From appetisers, sashimi, deep fried, and hot pot—it was hard to choose—but Bonnie solved this problem for us by saying bringing us some house favourites.

First up was a mix of sashimi—salmon, tuna, kingfish and Arctic surf clam. These were beautifully presented, and lovely to eat. It was the first time I’d ever had clam sashimi before, and I really liked it.

bonkurasashimi

Sashimi

 

Next was the Chef’s special fried roll—prawn tempura, crab meat, egg, cucumber, avocado, mayo with cream cheese, sprinkled with rainbow flying fish caviar. Neither my brother nor I had ever had fried sushi before. But this was delicious! While I like sushi rolls and have them fairly regularly, my brother doesn’t normally like them because he thinks they’re always the same and boring, but this dish was his favourite of the night.

bonkurachefspecial

Chef’s Special

 

We were then given some deep fried food to try—air flown Japanese oysters and king prawn tempura, served with housemade tartare sauce. Be warned that if you order these dishes, the tempura is a very heavy batter, not the light battered tempura that you normally get at Japanese restaurants, as you’ll see below. My brother liked the air flown oyster but I wasn’t a big fan, I felt the batter was a bit much and took away from the oyster. My favourite way to eat oysters is raw, so that probably coloured my judgment. If you don’t like raw oysters, you will enjoy these more than I did. The prawn was nice enough, but nothing special.

bonkuradeepfried

A selection of deep fried of Japanese deliciousness.

 

Skewers were next—king prawns with salt, and pork belly. While tasty enough, the king prawns were very fiddly to eat. The pork belly on the other hand was easy and definitely the winner when it came to taste (and good value at $6.80 for a serve of two—I’m definitely going back for these).

bonkuraskewer

A platter of pork belly and prawn skewers.

 

Then it was time for teriyaki chicken. We found this a bit lacklustre—the chicken wasn’t as juicy as it looked, and the teriyaki flavour wasn’t very strong, nor had it seeped into the chicken (we found out that this was because the chicken hadn’t been marinated). That said, I provided this feedback to Bonnie, and she said she’d pass it on to the chefs, so it might be better in future.

bonkurateriyaki

Teriyaki chicken

 

Our final dish was the Wagyu beef fried rice, one of Bon Kura’s most popular dishes. Fried rice isn’t a food I normally associate with Japanese restaurants, and this didn’t seem very Japanese, but it was very tasty.

bonkurafriedrice

Everyone’s favourite…fried rice.

 

As mentioned before the menu is pretty extensive so I’d like to go back and try other dishes including the sukiyaki and unagi (eel). While we were there a big group sitting nearby ordered the assorted deluxe sashimi and a whole fish, which looked incredible. I would visit again just so I can order these. In addition to its “normal” menu, Bon Kura also offers customised menus for groups and has lunch bento box specials.

My final thoughts? There were things I would and wouldn’t order again but I liked Bon Kura enough to go back and try more—or at least order a giant serve of sashimi and lots of pork belly skewers.

The essentials

The place: Bon Kura
Where: 13 Woolley Street, Dickson
When: Sunday-Thursday 11.30am-3.30pm, 5.00-10.00pm; Friday-Saturday 11.30am-3.30pm, 5.00-11.00pm
Food: Japanese
Drinks: Sake, plum wine, tea, wine, beer, soft drinks
Contact: To make a booking phone (02) 6262 6669, visit their website or find them on Facebook page. Bookings are recommended.

The author and her brother dined courtesy of Bon Kura for the purposes of this review.

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Michelle Brotohusodo

Michelle moved to Canberra vowing to stay for two years, tops. 10 years later, she’s a bona fide Canberra convert. When she’s not working in her day job as a public servant, she’s enjoying Canberra’s culinary delights or finding fun things to do/see in and around town. More about the Author

  • Bon Bon Ho

    Hi Michelle
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of our new establishment. I hope you enjoyed your experience here at Bon Kura. You are welcome back anytime to try out the other 100+ dishes available on our extensive menu!
    Yours sincerely
    Bonnie, Jimmy and Bon Kura Staff x

  • CharlySarah

    Hi Michelle,
    The deep fried prawns you ate look more like ‘ebi fry’ than tempura – the batter made from panko rather than tempura flour- which would explain why you found it a bit on the heavy side 🙂