Kura Kura, Haymarket

Around the corner (lit­er­ally less than 5 m) from the tiny space of Kura is sis­ter store Kura Kura, an upstairs space that’s much more spa­cious with a lot more seat­ing than Kura.

The menu on the wall out­side does not cor­res­pond with the items avail­able on their iPad order­ing sys­tem inside, unfor­tu­nately. So put­ting aside my hops for asari clams in soy but­ter and takowasa aside …

This is Nasu Dengaku ($7.90) or miso glazed egg­plant. The egg­plant is pip­ing hot, tender and soft (but still pleas­ant with a firm­ness) and slathered in a deli­cious miso/​sake/​mirin sauce.

The size of the nasu dengaku depends on the size of the egg­plant, so on some occa­sions we get egg­plant that fills the entire plate and much thick­er. Yum, I could eat plates of this!

T tries their Takoyaki (6 for $5.50). Unfortunately, they’re warm rather than pip­ing hot which gave them a gluggy mouthfeel.

Onto the mains, after my pleas­ant exper­i­ence with the mini chir­ashi don, N and I try the Special Deluxe Chirashi Sushi ($15.90). Sushi rice is topped with sal­mon, king­fish, tuna, sal­mon roe, scal­lops, jelly­fish, squid, grilled eel, prawn and tamagoyaki,

This bowl is beau­ti­fully bal­anced with a gen­er­ous vari­ety and quant­ity of fresh sea­food on a bed of sat­is­fy­ingly vin­egared sushi rice. With a dash of soy sauce, this was the per­fect chir­ashi don for a very reas­on­able price. I even enjoyed the side of salad leaves which were pleas­antly undressed.

Mini Chirashi Don ($9.00) comes with tuna, sal­mon and king fish on a bed of sushi rice. The amount of sea­food is gen­er­ous as usu­al, but we did get minced rather than cubed tuna on occa­sion and their rice por­tions aren’t con­sist­ent, so some­times we ended up with more sea­food than rice — a first, and not a complaint!

On anoth­er vis­it, I try the Asari Clam Udon ($12.50), a large ver­sion of the half bowl from their down­stairs res­taur­ant. There was an impress­ive num­ber of clams with a deli­cious fresh fla­vour, although there was some resid­ual sand in some of them. The udon was cooked per­fectly with per­fect bite, while the wakame added a spot of green.

T was nurs­ing an URTI so sought com­fort in the Karaage & Egg Don ($10.30). He found the egg com­fort­ing and the karaage crispy while remain­ing moist on the inside.

For dessert, we go back to the Taiyaki ($3.90 each).

These have a more smokey fla­vour than the ones we had at Kura, but with the same pleas­ant red bean filling and eggy pastry. Unfortunately, they’re still not crispy the way I like them.

It’s winter, so it’s time for the Zenzai ($5.50), a red bean soup with mochi. The soup is pip­ing hot and thick­ens to a more dessert con­sist­ency as it cools. Unfortunately, the dango/​mochi lacked the chew­iness and elasti­city that I was hop­ing for and tasted more like Chinese tangy­uan. The accom­pa­ny­ing matcha was a per­fect pair­ing for the sweet dessert, although it was a bit thin and watery for my tastes.

Not a fan of their zen­zai, we try their Shiratama Dango ($5.00) are a hit with one stick dus­ted in kinako powder and sug­ar while the oth­er is slathered in anko. We enjoy the kinako sug­ar for its sweet nut­ti­ness, but enjoy the anko ver­sion more as the red bean paste adds some mois­ture to the sweet nuttiness.

Kura Kura serves qual­ity, com­fort­ing cas­u­al Japanese food with street food items being bet­ter left to the street vendors. We’ll be back for more staples.

Kura Kura is loc­ated at 3/​76 Ultimo Rd, Haymarket NSW 2000.