Kura, Haymarket

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.