The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Mum's 60th celebration @ Zakura Japanese Restaurant (Bondi Junction), Sydney

We have returned back home in Hong Kong after spending last week in Sydney and Brisbane. We had an awesome time with family, and we enjoyed the beautiful Aussie winter weather of blue skies and sunshine - a lovely respite from the muggy heat in HK. We could also show Zak the many stars, planets and galaxies that sparkles in the clear sky, something that we couldn't do in Tokyo and Hong Kong due to light pollution, high rises and - particularly in HK - smoggy haze. One of the reasons we were in Sydney was to celebrate my mum's 60th birthday. It was the first time in almost two years since the whole clan got together, but it wasn't without the dramas of having 5 siblings and the parents in one place, except now we also have partners and kids in the picture. We ate a lot of delicious food, and there is nothing like having a meal together as a whole family to smooth out those temporary agro feelings.

My family, including the partners and kids. Yes, our group really did take up half the restaurant - I am standing at one end of the dining area:

My mum wanted to have Japanese food for her 60th celebration, and boy, did she get Japanese food! I'm quite certain we ordered every single dish on the restaurant's menu between our two tables of 14 people 15 people (thanks to my bro who pointed it out. I forgot to include the photographer). We went to Zakura Japanese Restaurant in the Bondi Junction mall, a regular dining haunt of one of my sister's family. It is a small restaurant, and our group took up half of the restaurant's dining space. The friendly owners are originally from Nagoya prefecture in Japan, and they work very hard to keep everyone happy. They willingly accommodated allergy requests and kept up quite well with the slew of food orders that we kept throwing at them. The menu offerings were quite typical of Japanese restaurants overseas, featuring standard (but favourite) sushi and sashimi pieces, and internationally popular Japanese food like tempura, gyoza, takoyaki and udon. The food was of good quality and beautifully presented, and this meal made me miss Japan all the more.

Soy-free and sesame-free Cha-han (fried rice) for my 2.5 y/o boy, who loved it (but not as much as mummy and dada who probably ate more of this dish than the boy! To be fair, he wouldn't have been able to finish the whole plate by himself):

My mum's favourite Japanese dish - Sashimi:

Yummy Takoyaki (grilled octopus ball dumpling), a popular street food in Japan:

Gyoza - the Japanese version of a Chinese dumpling (aka pot sticker), a firm favourite in our family:

Tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet), another favourite (unfortunately my family is not as health-conscious as I am):

Seaweed Salad, which was lovely and refreshing:

I liked the idea of having a bento, so I got a Salmon Bento, which included salmon sashimi, agedashi tofu, gyoza, teriyaki salmon fillets and salad as well as rice and miso soup, the staples of any Japanese meal:

I believe this dish was Teriyaki Chicken Sushi:

Soft-shell Crab Sushi - this is one deep-fried goodness that I'm sure my body would forgive me for eating lots of:

Unagi (freshwater eels) - beautifully prepared, just like the ones we used to eat in Japan:

Sushi and Sashimi Plate:

Beef Tataki - great for those who like their beef raw:

Prawn Tempura, which my boy couldn't get enough of:

Dessert was simple ice-cream in different flavours. We got Kuro-goma (black sesame) and Matcha (green tea) flavours, which were nice but we were so stuffed at this point to truly appreciate the sweet treat:

143 Oxford Street
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
Tel. + 61 (2) 9387 6180

Zakura on Urbanspoon


  1. Wow!!! Those dishes all look amazing! Being an Australia restaurant, was it as authentic as dining in Japan?

  2. Hi Cath, thanks for reading! The owners and chefs of Zakura are Japanese, so the food was as authentic as what you can get in Japan (though a bit more expensive).