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Food Review: Bonzai

19 August 20 words: Brie Andagbread

Tempura, tofu, and other tasty treats...

Japanese food notoriously cooks with fish, and while I love the refreshing, exciting flavours that come with it, as a vegetarian I struggle to find places I can order from. But I’m a big believer in giving your body what it wants (food-wise, obviously), so when I was craving Japanese food I decided to give Bonzai a go. I ordered a Shoji Bento box (£13.91) and a Nazu Dengaku (£6.70), which also came with a free delicious side of miso soup.

Traditionally Bento boxes are popular for eating practically on the go, filled with a variety of food groups. While I was very much having a cosy night in, I didn’t fancy a huge meal but I wanted to eat nibbly bits. Each element was thoughtfully created and stood out as individually delicious pieces. The tofu was beautifully silky, utterly melt-in-the-mouth and oozing with an aromatic sauce. I’m not usually a fan of tempura, but the batter was so light and crispy I wasn’t left feeling overwhelmed with grease. 

The sharp, slightly salty edamame pods cleansed the palate nicely in between the richer flavours. Perfect soy sauce is hard to master, but Bonzai have got it down pat, and when drizzled onto the sticky rice, elevated that hugely flavour-wise. My favourite part was the Nazu Dengaku – the sweetness of the miso paste and the saltiness of the mayo worked gorgeously to make the flavour of the aubergine shine.

Bonsai trees signify harmony, and Bonzai did just that in terms of their brilliantly balanced flavours and textures, as well as leaving me feeling relaxed, satisfied and not stuffed to the brim. Whether you want to eat in their lovely Hockley restaurant or in the comfort of your home, they are sure to provide you with a unique culinary experience. 

Carlton Street, NG1 1NL

Bonzai website

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