Ken's Sushi Bar is a Japanese restaurant in North Bexley focusing on sushi and other Japanese restaurant classics. The sushi is freshly made and there is a choice of nigiri or hand rolls as well as an extensive futomaki roll menu aka jumbo sushi rolls packed with a range of fillings.
A few months ago when we went for pizza at My Mother's Cousin, Valentina and Katie pointed out Ken's Sushi Bar a few doors down. According to their friends Ken's has a really loyal following. We made plans to go but then COVID happened and Ken's had been open for takeaway only. More recently Valentina drove past and saw people eating in so we made a booking. Service is really lovely and the restaurant is named after the owner Ken or Kenichi. It's not a huge restaurant and is also very popular so bookings are really recommended. There is a dine-in time limit of 1.5 hours so getting in your order in as quickly as possible is imperative especially if you're in a larger group. It's Mr NQN, Valentina, Peter, their Japanese exchange student Kia and I dining at Ken's tonight. I get to ordering as quickly as possible and go for a range of items from each section with lots of sushi thrown in because we all love sushi.
I'm not usually a huge miso soup lover but I tried some of Mr NQN's miso soup and it's really good with a nice depth of flavour and plenty of green onions and wakame that add a lot of flavour to it.
We always tend to order seaweed salad with sushi because it's good to have vegetables but it's also tasty too. This seaweed salad is sizeable and comes with mixed green leaves and avocado as well as a house made sauce which is a delicious, light vinaigrette sauce.
One of our favourite dishes is the nasu dengaku or miso eggplant. Here it is cut into chunks and it is a good size for sharing. The eggplant is wonderful and absolutely melts in the mouth thanks to the deep frying while each piece is blanketed in the sweet, rich miso sauce.
This is a little snack ideal for beer or sake. It's the middle part of the chicken wing seasoned, lightly floured and deep fried served with ketchup and mayonnaise on the side and a wedge of lime.
I love futomaki aka jumbo sushi rolls because the filling to rice ratio is in favour of the filling (although it can be a bit more difficult to eat because of its size). There is a whole menu page of futomaki with 9 varieties. They can be ordered as 4 or 8 pieces but since there are 5 of us we order the 8 pieces. The Tasmanian Salmon California Roll has Tasmanian salmon, avocado, cucumber, mayonnaise and tobiko fish roe on the outside. It's so generously filled with salmon and avocado that every bite is full of flavour. Most of the futomaki varieties have fish roe on the outside except for the vegetarian one and the chicken roll.
We also try the spider roll which has soft shell crab with avocado, cucumber, mayonnaise and sweet chilli and tobiko. The sweet chilli gives it a welcome sweet spiciness which I really like and I love anything rolled in lots of tobiko.
Another favourite is the Golden Dragon roll filled with barbecue eel, egg omelette, cucumber and fish roe. I especially love the generously portioned end pieces.
The mains come shortly after and the kitchen keeps the pace well even with our 1.5 hour dining limit. The wagyu beef comes as cubes of wagyu beef in a teriyaki sauce with a mixed salad on the side. The sesame seed speckled beef is tender and you do want a serve of the rice on the side to soak up that lovely sauce.
The prawn tempura comes out freshly fried and piping hot. These are large prawns in a crunchy tempura batter with a dipping sauce. I usually like dipping my tempura prawns in mayonnaise which I know makes it even richer but so delicious especially with some salad on the side.
I had almost forgotten about the chicken katsu with cheese that I ordered that comes out last (dishes are best shared for this reason). This is like a Japanese version of a chicken parmy and is a freshly fried, sliced up fillet of crunchy breaded chicken katsu with some tangy, fruity Tonkatsu sauce on the side.
We have just enough time to fit in something sweet and we share some black sesame and green tea ice cream. Both ice creams are good but the black sesame has a dark intensity that is very appealing.
As soon as I saw mochi ice cream on the menu I knew I wanted to order it. You have a choice of three ice cream flavours: vanilla, matcha or strawberry filling and we went with the matcha. There is a thin skin of mochi around the creamy ice cream and on the side are grapes on toothpicks.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like futomaki or do you find it difficult to eat? How are you with 1.5 dining limits?
This meal was independently paid for.
Ken's Sushi Bar
3A Shaw St, Bexley North NSW 2207
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11am–2pm, 5–9pm
Phone: (02) 9150 6588