Most of the time, before a planned dinner, I research beforehand on where to eat based on people’s preferences. This time it was Japanese. Sure, I go to Japanese restaurants almost all the time, like the popular places such as Mappen or Poporo for some casual dining but I wanted somewhere different and more authentic and hence I found this gem, Kura Kura Japanese Casual Dining just near Chinatown.
Okay, this place was unexpectedly small, like a corner store small. We had four people and one small table fit for two but we somehow made it. Definitely not a place for large groups (I think the maximum capacity of the place would be around 12 or something!). But apparently there’s an upstairs too that is more spacious and suited for larger groups.
But I think the small and cosiness gave the place its own charm – it reminds me of those small ramen stalls in Japan where it’s always busy and rowdy. I sort of fell in love?
On the menu, I thought this was normal gyoza. Until I read it properly: tempura gyoza. TEMPURA. GYOZA. What a genius idea! This was very new to me so I had to get it and boy, I think most of us agreed that it was a good choice. They were pretty small, though BUT SO GOOD! Crunchy outside and soft, meaty centre accompanied by just the right amount of delicious Japanese mayonnaise. Give me some more, please.
One of my favourite stir fry noodles would be yaki udon which is something I make quite frequently at home, too. EXCEPT THIS WAS MORE…. YAKI RAMEN? Not what I expected or what was pictured in the menu but nonetheless, pretty good. Though I definitely would’ve preferred a lot more vegetables and more meat. The pork they used was thinly sliced and nice and tender, though. Still, quite small in portion.
Actually, I have something to confess. I think this might have been my first okonomiyaki. I’ve heard many stories about how good okonomiyaki is but most of the time, restaurants serve it with seafood which I’m allergic to. Either way, this was pretty small in size but very cute and again, very delicious. I mean, it has Japanese mayo, so it has to be good, right?
Sorry, I really need to start taking photos of the menu, sometimes the internet and my memory isn’t good enough. Anyway, we got this ramen since it was so cold and we needed something with soup. I personally loved the pork because it was so fat and so soft and tender – it melted in your mouth. But then again, for a lot of people, the fattiness might make them feel sick so this might not be the one for you if you’re that sort of person.
And here comes the rice dish! Chicken katsu curry – I’m pretty picky with my Japanese curries, actually, to the point that I hardly get them because somewhere in my mind, nothing beats the chicken katsu curry at Genki Ramen, Artarmon. But let’s talk about this curry – it’s not bad. Though the texture was a bit watery to my taste and the rice was a bit soft and the chicken katsu not crunchy enough. AGAIN, I’M SUPER PICKY when it comes to this particular dish, so honestly, this was still pretty good.
Dessert time! Taiyaki! Which, for those of you who don’t know, is basically a red-bean stuffed fish-shaped cake thing that’s made from pancake or waffle batter. I really don’t know why it’s fish-shaped. This was pretty underwhelming since it was really small and quite dry.
Conclusion: LOVE this place simply because it’s so affordable, delicious and in a great location! Kura Kura is a prime example that you don’t need to dig into your savings for good food that will fill you up. Like the name suggests, it’s great for casual dining which means the service won’t always be guaranteed to be spectacular but that’s not what I’m there for when I go to these small restaurants. Very happy that I have another place to recommend others since people ask me for cheap and good Japanese restaurants so much!
Address: Shop 3, 76 Ultimo Rd Sydney NSW 2000