The wide-ranging menu at Bonsai Sushi, found on select Carnival ships, is impressive with everything from creative sushi rolls to ramen bowls and bento boxes. It is surely one of the more popular eateries onboard any ship it's on -- in fact, don't be surprised to see some of the same people eating there more than once!
On Carnival Horizon and Panorama, you'll find the addition of Bonsai Teppanyaki, a tiny restaurant (capacity 16) that serves up a variety of hibachi grill dishes.
Bamboo accents and golden lantern lighting provide a contemporary Asian atmosphere, and small bonsai trees and black tea kettles set the mood for the tasty Japanese cuisine. At the sushi venue tables (both high tops and standard) accommodate two, four and six people, and there is a lot of seating at the bar for front-row views of the sushi-rolling action.
On some ships, including Carnival Panorama, Vista and Horizon, there's also an outdoor seating area located in the shade, making it ideal even on the hottest days. No reservations are required; it operates as first-come, first-served.
Bonsai Teppanyaki features similar decor to what you'll find in Bonsai Sushi, though seating is around one of two hibachi grills where the chefs are part of the entertainment, flipping ingredients and telling bad jokes to the delight of patrons. Sizzling serves as the background noise.
You'll find a variety of menu items at Carnival's Bonsai Sushi, including appetizers, main dishes and even desserts, all priced a la carte. Starters include green salads, edamame and miso soup. Diners can order sushi rolls as a main course or simply pay $1.50 for a small roll if they want to try more than one. Other options include bamboo skewers of beef, chicken or pork and sushi and sashimi rolls of shrimp, yellow fin tuna or amberjack.
In some versions of the restaurant, Japanese food aficionados will discover ramen or udon noodle bowls with piping hot dashi broth and the option to include beef, chicken, mushrooms, egg or tempura vegetables. The izakaya menu (Japanese small plates) is especially tempting with miso salmon, teriyaki steak and chicken katsu among the options. One of the most popular menu items is the tempura roll.
Dessert items costs only $2 each and include tempura green tea ice cream or yuzu custard with kombu rice.
At Bonsai Teppanyaki, you get a meal and a show, with chefs entertaining diners with knife tricks and other silly antics, all while cooking up steak, lobster, chicken and shrimp. All entrees are served with fried rice. Dessert is a six-slot bento box, with items like green tea ice cream and a gooey chocolate cake bite.
At both restaurants, a full bar menu runs the gamut from wine and beer to sake and cocktails. Drinks are an additional cost.
Note: This Bonsai Sushi menu is a sample from Carnival Vista and might vary by ship or itinerary. The Bonsai Teppanyaki sample menu is from Carnival Horizon and also might vary.
There is no set fee to dine at Bonsai Sushi; rather, cruisers order as much as they like and pay by the item. Single sushi rolls start at $1.50 with larger rolls like California and Spicy Tuna going for $5 each and the famous Bang Bang Bonsai Roll with salmon, crab, shrimp and wasabi mustard clocking in at $7. Even the $2 green salad is entree-portion size.
While everything at Bonsai Sushi is served a la carte, there are value bundles like bento boxes ($10) or sushi "boats" for two ($22). These include miso soup and a side salad. Ramen bowls are enormous, too, and cost just $7. The izakaya menu ranges in price between $5 and $8 each.
There's also a clever option that allows diners to let the chef decide for them. The surprise-and-delight feature is priced at $15 for one person or $22 for two and is a great way to try something you might not have considered.
Bonsai Teppanyaki costs $32.
The bar menu at both restaurants match the prices found elsewhere on the ship.
You can find Bonsai Sushi on the following Carnival vessels:
- Carnival Breeze
- Carnival Dream
- Carnival Horizon (with Bonsai Teppanyaki)
- Carnival Legend
- Carnival Panorama (with Bonsai Teppanyaki)
- Carnival Pride
- Carnival Spirit
- Carnival Sunrise
- Carnival Sunshine
- Carnival Vista