We've been meaning to try Kura Japanese Dining in Chinatown for a couple of years now but it's always so busy and so full that we've always headed for easier options. Doh!
Kura is tiny, with room for maybe a dozen punters. It's often packed at lunchtime, but lately we've found it fairly easy to snag a couple of seats at night, perhaps because they've opened a new venue upstairs. Incredibly, there's up to seven staff in the tiny kitchen behind the counter. The service is Japanese uber polite and singsong chirpy wonderful, this joint really takes us back to our beloved Japan.
The menu is varied with a range of sushi, sashimi, udon soups and dons (rice bowls). The food was pretty good, not mind-blowing good, but good simple food at good prices. Which is much better than the simple food at high prices we've had at some Japanese joints lately, such as Sake and Izakaya Fujiyama (my god the sake was good though, and we have a soft spot for a Yebisu Black).
Chirashi deluxe - sashimi on rice - $13.90
Beef tongue curry $10.50. The beef tongue was like thin slices of cured meat, with a kind of bacon-y/beefy flavour.
Tsukune (home made chicken balls) & egg don - $9.20
Mackerel set - $10.90. Highly recommended.
Some menu items marked 'side dish': this means you can order one of four cheap little side dishes, such as salmon sashimi - $5.50.
Another side dish - plain udon soup - $3.50.
And how could we resist taikaya & ice cream - $6.50 - warm fish shaped waffles with a red bean filling and a tub of green tea ice cream on the side.
Salmon salad with orange dressing on the side - $7.20
Oyakodon - simmered chicken (or pork or beef) & egg on rice - $9.30;
Agedashi tofu $5.50.
Gyudon - slithers of beef simmered in Japanese soy, minin, cooking sake and ginger on rice - $8.90
BACK AGAIN JULY 2012...
A quick healthy pitstop - salmon churashi ($10.90) - salmon sashimi on sushi rice with ginger, wasabi and miso soup on the side. Fantastic.
Tofu don - $7.50. Soft tofu fried just enough to have a little crispiness on the outside while still soft inside. Cooked in a sweet sauce to give it some oomf, balanced nicely with ginger and fresh spinach leaves. Healthy while still slightly naughty, a new favourite.
Most dishes come with a most yummy, cloudy miso soup.
Kura Japanese Dining is at Shop 3, 76 Ultimo Rd Haymarket. There's a new offshoot, KuraKura just opened upstairs. It's on the to-do list.
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