A place to eat in Edinburgh: Bonsai Bar & Bistro

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Normally I’m not big on eating out, especially when some restaurants charge quite a lot for their food, but there are some restaurants that do serve great food for a reasonable price. In Edinburgh, there is a great range of restaurants to suit what you’re looking for (from Filippino to Thai, Chinese tea time (yum cha) to Vietnamese pho) and at different price ranges, but you need to know what you’re looking for. I want to try and introduce to you some of my favourite restaurants over time as I explore different places, especially those that offer Asian cuisine, as those happen to be my favourite and what I crave the most.

Last night, my OH and I went to Bonsai Bar and Bistro on Broughton Street and it was definitely good food. We happened to get a Groupon voucher to spend so we decided to try the food and see how it compares to my picky Japanese cuisine tastes.

We had the California and Soft Shell Crab (yes, this is exactly as it sounds – the crab shell is so soft you can eat the whole thing!) rolls, tamago ‘nigiri-zushi’, salmon and tuna sashimi (sliced raw seafood), takoyaki (octopus balls) and ika karaage (deep fried squid). What we have in the photo above is what we had for the meal, only the takoyaki and ika karaage didn’t make the picture because we were at a table for two and couldn’t fit all the food on the table at once so had them first as starters. The food was amazing and one thing sashimi lovers can attest to is that sometimes the fish or seafood just isn’t that fresh – you can tell especially when the colour of the salmon or tuna isn’t right (salmon slices with grey/brown blotches instead of a clean orange with white lines, and the tuna a dull brown/dried blood colour instead of a fresh deep red). This was not the case at Bonsai.

For two people, the amount of food we ordered was more than enough. It definitely satisfied that craving of mine for Japanese sushi prepared to my high expectations and although it seems as if the amount of choice on the menu isn’t great, there is more than enough to go around! The sizes of each portion is just right, sometimes you go to Japanese restaurants and the sushi rolls are massive, but the problem with eating these is that they don’t fit in your mouth and you end up having to deal with the other half (I dub ‘The Mess’) of the sushi that tends to fall apart.

The takoyaki tasted just as I expected, although I wish they were as big as the ones you get on the street shops in Hong Kong! The ika karaage was fantastic, the batter freshly deep fried with a hint of salt. The squid is also served with mayonnaise and a lemon wedge, added together that the flavour was so good I could have eaten plate after plate of them for dinner!

Bonsai Bar & Bistro has restaurants on Broughton Street and West Richmond Street. Their menu can be viewed here.Have you already been to Bonsai? What is your verdict on their food?


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