There's a certain kind of 'hole in the wall' eatery with sticky tables and a loyal following that is always worth checking out. Kura is definitely in this category; there's almost always a line and there's only about 8 seats (real downtown Osaka style ;) but they churn out the food fast and the wait is never long.
Kura sells casual traditional Japanese food, with a flourish and not really much style or friendly service but it's good enough you just don't care.
Tempura Gyoza $6.30
I like to call these 'crack dumplings' because they are unto an addictive chemical. Firstly they take fresh delicious hand made gyoza, then they dip them in light fluffy tempura batter, deep fry them and then serve covered in rich whole egg Japanese mayonnaise. Not for the faint hearted or those watching their weight but oh my god, worth every calorie.
Agedashi tofu $5.50
The skin is chewier and lighter than I like but the rest of the dish somewhat makes up for it. The sweet soup is so good I drink it at the end, the tofu is excellent quality and the katsuoboshi shavings are fresh, pink and chewy. A very good rendition of a traditional favourite.
Deluxe Udon $13.50
I do not try this dish ordered by my companion however he is very enamoured with the results. Seaweed, meat, egg and tempura are served with fresh udon noodles in a soy based soup.
Pork and egg don $8.20
This is very very filling as a lunch but it is excellent. Sweet egg sauce is semi cooked on top of caramelised onion, pork simmered in sake and rice. The whole lot is sprinked with shallots, pickled ginger and nori strips. Heavy, but the perfect mix of sweet and savoury and I attempt to keep eating long after I'm full.
I was in for lunch so this was a lot of food however I notice with glee that they have Taiyaki dessert options on the menu and a number of katsu dishes that are definitely worth coming back for.
Kura is a great example of fresh, quick comfort Japanese food and yoshoku. The surroundings are nothing to write home about but the food is pure Asian comfort food. Delicious, warm, filling and cheap. Definitely one of the best lunch meal options in Sydney's Chinatown, so long as you're not fussy about the environs.
Kura Japanese Food
76 Ultimo Rd
(02) 9212 5661
Casual dining, no reservations, expect to wait
Soft drinks only
Be prepared to use chopsticks