My first experience with Yoshoku (Japanese style western food) was almost 30 years ago in Japan but honestly I don’t remember a whole lot about the food except the fact that it looked and tasted different from what I’m used to back home.
Later on in life I was introduced to dishes such as Japanese curry, hamburger steak and Omurice (tomato rice wrapped neatly inside an omelette) but they were hard to come by because not a lot of places serve them.
Yoshoku Ya on Denman Street was, for a long time, the only restaurant of its kind in Vancouver. That is until a few years ago when I noticed this name – Bonqula. Somehow it caught my attention because I had no idea what it meant but was intrigued by it nonetheless. If my memory is correct, Bonqula was in 2 locations around “downtown” Richmond for a very short time before disappearing. Out of mind, out of sight, I never did find out what Bonqula was all about.
Last Christmas, by chance, I came across an article about this Yoshoku restaurant in Richmond and, lo and behold, it turned out to be Bonqula. Having liked what I saw and read in the article, Pie Pie Lo and I made a visit on a Sunday afternoon.
The décor is very homely though not as intimate as I envisioned it to be. Regardless, I felt very comfortable.
Compared to Yoshoku Ya, Bonqula’s menu seems to be more extensive and has a lot of things that I’ve never tried before, which adds to the curiosity factor.
This may sound strange but eating at Bonqula is a very…comforting experience. The food is rustic and taste like a home-cooked meal any mother would make for her family. And you certainly feel the warmth and care the chef has put into the food through its preparation.
Bonqula, IMHO, has heart.
And that’s becoming a rarity in the restaurant business.