I first saw Bonzai being furnished a couple months ago and was excited but sceptical about a new sushi restaurant opening in Leicester – as they seem to come and go so quickly.
We wandered into Bonzai early on a Sunday night and were seated at the bar where we had direct access to the sushi belt. Going around the belt was an array of small sushi and salad dishes on different colored plates which correspond to different prices – very much like Yo Sushi. However, Bonzai also have a full menu of various Japanese dishes including salads, rice dishes and noodle bowls. It also seems that if you order sushi off the menu you get bigger portions than the ones going around the belt.
The restaurant itself is cute – very spacious with a choice of stools at the sushi bar and both low booths and high booths by the windows. It’s a great spot on the corner of Hotel Street and Horsefair Street, with large floor to ceiling windows making it ideal for people watching (and silently judging those going into McDonald’s across the street).
We started off by picking a couple of dishes off the belt while we perused the menu, including a little bowl of scrumptious seaweed salad and a veggie roll that was good, but a bit weird. It had mango so was slightly sweet and not really to my liking. I did also pick up an avocado tofu roll which was very tasty (phone died before I could take a photo!).
We ordered several dishes to share, including miso soup, two avocado rolls and agadashi tofu. The miso soup was nice but quite mild in taste. The agadashi tofu was delicious, warm and perfectly cooked with lovely seasoned broth to go with it. This is one of my favorite dishes in general, and Bonzai did not disappoint. The real winner though was the avocado sushi. The pieces were a really good size and the avocado portion was generous and perfectly ripe. I mean, just look how perfect these rolls are!
Each dish we had was yummy, and the only real complaints I had were that the soy sauce was a bit sweet and the wasabi wasn’t spicy at all. The service was also a bit slow and tired, but maybe that’s just because it was a quiet Sunday evening. Oh, and I hope you like cheesy Japanese pop music because that’s what you’ll get on the tv while you eat.
Overall I quite liked this restaurant and would be interested to try their hot food (although I’m not sure which hot dishes are vegan so would need to check). I don’t think Bonzai will replace Yo Sushi for me, but it’s nice to have different options so I do hope they’ll stick around.