Bonsai Bar Bistro

Bonsai Bar Bistro
46 West Richmond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DZ
  • Telephone 0131 668 3847
  • Seasonal times Open an hour later every day during August.
  • Food served Sun–Thu noon–10pm; Fri/Sat noon–10.30pm.
  • Average price £4.90 (set lunch); £14.95 (evening meal)
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Cosy, lively and great value neighbourhood Japanese restaurant.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2016 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.

A night at Bonsai somehow feels a bit like having dinner in the flat of a Japanophile student; it’s cosy, there’s Japanese ephemera everywhere (kanji banners, manga posters, a metal Godzilla with scimitar glaring balefully from a height) and there’s an easygoing, natural way about the place. This should be no surprise, as they’ve been getting into the swing of their neighbourhood niche for a remarkable 16 years now. The cooking isn’t always flawless, but mostly it’s worth going back for, and the bento boxes and lunch deals offer outstanding value for money. What’s more, some imaginative dishes have worked their way onto the expansive menu. So alongside the staples of sashimi, katsu and sushi – the unagi always a highlight – you might find specials like the delicious futomaki, with crisp seabass skin and rich truffle mayo, or sunny slices of pickled golden beetroot complementing salmon tataki, an innovative combination proving that this elder of Edinburgh’s Japanese scene still has a bit of youthful exuberance left in it.

  • High point: Light and crisp tempura aubergine
  • Low point: Globby duck gyoza
  • Notable dish: Seabass skin futomaki
  • Delivery: Through Deliveroo
  • Provides: Children's portions, Outdoor tables
  • Music on stereo: Japanese pop
  • Capacity: 32 (12 outdoors)
  • Largest group: 32
  • Open since: 2000
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 9
  • House wine: £15.95 per bottle
  • BYOB: £5 corkage