Kura has been in Chinatown for as long as I remember, but it’s tiny interior and the constant queues outside its doors at a major intersection in the heart of Chinatown never really enticed. Until recently, that is.
Kura are traditional Japanese storehouses and the interior of Kura recreates the appearance of one, reminding one of the numerous storehouses we saw in Kurashiki.
I try their half donburi, half noodle sets ($14.30) with a Chirashi Don (+$1.00) and Asari Clam Udon.
My fondness for asari clams started at Coco Ichibanya Curry House in Japan where asari clams were a topping option. Being the next best thing after pipis, I was delighted by the addition of them. D’s taste of clams cooked in sake was a less than successful adventure, so I was initially reluctant to try the Asari Clam Udon. But not being able to order to rice bowls for the half/half set, I’m glad I took the chance to try it.
The fragrant smell of seafood comes from the broth and the generous number of clams hidden within the bowl. The clams are cleaned perfectly, without a single grain of sand for unexpected crunch, and fresh with delicious clam flavour. The udon itself was a bit too tender, but I’d still come back for the clams and broth.
Seafood chirashi don is a hit or miss at most Japanese restaurants, but this one is a definite hit with a generous serving and variety of seafood: crab meat (not imitation crab stick), tuna, salmon and squid with seaweed and ginger. The seafood is fresh with plenty to go around for each bite of vinegared sushi rice.
N continues on her quest for the perfect Chicken and Egg Don. She finds this one at Kura to have the most enjoyable seasoning so far (compared to Dera Uma and Goku Ramen Bar) but still laments at the softness of the crumbed chicken. That said, I’ve not seen crispy chicken nanban?
N tires the Ontama Udon as the noodle half of her set. She prefers less soup when there’s a soft boiled egg (as the egg breaks open and the yolk floats away) but T didn’t have that issue.
T tries their Chicken Katsu Curry as part of rice bowl half. He finds the curry comforting with the crispy chicken katsu.
For dessert, we have Taiyaki (3 pieces for $6.80).
The taiyaki lacks the crisp shell of typical taiyaki, but it makes up for it with a moreish eggy pancake like batter that’s barely sweetened and balanced with the sweeter generous red bean innards.
And because we cannot resist yuzu flavoured foods, we try the Yuzu & Mandarin Bliss Sorbet by Madame Yuzu ($5.90).
The yuzu flavour is bright and fresh with the added sweetness and slight sharpness of mandarin. Unfortunately, their tubs seemed to be rather old as the sorbet had separated into icy and foamy parts towards the bottom. Next time, we’ll spare ourselves the trouble and head across the road to Thaikee IGA where the ice cream is fresher without the icy/foamy issue. The 125 ml tubs are cheaper ($4.70 for 125 ml) and larger 500 ml($10.90) are also available for indulging.
Kura is a tiny restaurant serving up reliably decent Japanese fare. I’m sorry we didn’t try it out sooner!
Kura is located at 3/76 Ultimo Rd, Haymarket NSW 2000.