Updated: 4th Oct 2010: This restaurant is closed via Vancouver Sushi.
The Gilmore Park Church community kitchen opted to eat out on the last day of our meeting before the summer break. Lorna suggested to eat at BonQuLa Fusion Restaurant and Cafe at the Olympia Centre in Richmond.
The restaurant is located at #165-8460 Alexandra Road; the strip mall across Toys’R'Us in Lansdowne Mall. This is a very new fusion restaurant, less than a month old. The owner of the restaurant is an ex-member of the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen.
The chef of BonQuLa is the daughter of the owner, her name is Kaori Kuruyama. Chef Kaori was a piano teacher in Japan, but she changed her career after she came to Canada. She studied French cuisine at the Culinary Arts in Vancouver Community College. She is creating her own fusion food with her Japanese inheritage and her French cooking skills.
The word ‘Bon’ means ‘Ordinary’, the word ‘Qu’ means ‘Eat’ and the word ‘La’ means ‘Enjoy’. The owner named the restaurant BonQuLa because they want the customer to enjoy their food comfortably.
What stands out to us is the menu which is made of handcrafted paper. A simple but unique menu.
We did not place specific orders but asked the chef to recommend some of their signature dishes. Like many Japanese restaurants, we were served hot green tea. However, they did not place a teapot on the table for us to help ourselves. They served the tea to us instead.
First came the bread baskets like most western restaurants. The difference is they served soft and sweet bread instead of crusty bread. The bread basket has a variety of sweet bread like chocolate bread, walnut bread and sweet potato bread. I like these breads. I understand from Kaori that bread baking is her passion and she enjoys seeing her customer enjoying her bread before a meal.
Next is a Green Field Salad. The salad is accompanied with homemade potato chips. The salad is mainly made of lettuces with fresh blueberries, walnuts and dried cranberries and some other dried fruits.
They served a very rich, creamy and buttery Pumpkin Soup as one of the starters. Very different from traditional Japanese restaurants which normally serve Miso soup.
The tempura platter is filled with fried chicken, artificial crab stick, prawn, onion, bamboo shoot, aubergine, long beans. and other vegetables. This is the first dish with Japanese element in it.
Next is Pork Cutlet Sandwich with Home Made Bread. This is more like a clubhouse sandwich. Well received by the group.
The Ground Beef Steak with Teriyaki Sauce is another fusion food with Japanese element in it. It uses hamburgers but cooked in Teriyaki Sauce, more like tepanyaki style.
The next dish is a form of sushi but presented in a very unique way. It’s sushi rice with a layer of preserved vegetable in between the rice and top with cooked salmon and avocado. I found a dish called Bonqula Kawari Sushi on their menu and I guess this must the one.
Our last dish is more like an appetizer. Its a kind of cracker used as a bowl to hold some raw seafood and sweet peppers and garnished with seaweed. They are very photogenic indeed.
We ended our meal with a cup of coffee and a tiramisu. A sweet finishing. I enjoyed the tiramisu.
This meal costs us $13 each, including tips and taxes. We had a great time and I must say that the service is good. The Gilmore Park Church community kitchen wishes the owner and Chef Kaori to succeed in this new venture.